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FACTORY output in Singapore picked up at its quickest pace in nearly two years in April, when it recorded a 2.9 per cent year-on-year increase.
The improvement in production seemed to have taken off towards the end of the first quarter of this year.
March's increase was at 0.1 per cent year on year, data released by the Economic Development Board on Thursday showed. This is a revision of an earlier estimate of a 0.5 per cent fall in that month.
The 2.9 per cent expansion in April is the highest since August 2014, when factories saw a 3.8 per cent increase.
Stripping away the volatile biomedical sector's output, April's number would have fallen by 0.1 per cent.
But there were signs of a stronger pick-up in the remaining sectors last month.
On a seasonally adjusted, month-on-month basis, manufacturing output increased 4.8 per cent in April from the previous month. If biomedical manufacturing was taken out, output posted a stronger growth at 5.1 per cent.
In addition, sectors that faced significant challenges previously saw improving output in April when compared to a year ago.
The electronics sector expanded by 10.9 per cent year on year from 5.8 per cent in March. The precision engineering narrowed its fall to 1.9 per cent from the 6.1 per cent decrease in March.
Transport engineering output fell by 12 per cent in April as compared to 22.9 per cent in March. Chemicals saw a fall of 4.3 per cent, a slight improvement from the 4.9 per cent decrease in March.