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Singapore's Dec manufacturing output falls 7.9%; total output 5.2% lower in 2015

Tuesday, January 26, 2016 - 13:01
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Singapore's manufacturing output declined by a more-than-expected 7.9 per cent in December last year when compared with December 2014, dragged down by a staggering 40.3 per cent shrinkage in the marine and offshore engineering segment.

SINGAPORE'S manufacturing output declined by a more-than-expected 7.9 per cent in December last year when compared with December 2014, dragged down by a staggering 40.3 per cent shrinkage in the marine and offshore engineering segment.

This meant that total output for manufacturing in 2015 was 5.2 per cent lower than in 2014, data published by the Economic Development Board (EDB) on Tuesday showed.

A Bloomberg survey of 16 economists put the median estimate for December's industrial production at a year-on-year 7.2 per cent fall.

The promise the biomedical cluster held for Singapore's manufacturing was no match for the onslaught wrecked by low oil prices.

The biomedical manufacturing cluster was the only manufacturing segment that saw growth in December in year-on-year terms, at 16.2 per cent. For the full year, however, it still shrank by 2.6 per cent when compared with 2014.

But the lower level of rigbuilding activity and weaker demand for oilfield and gasfield equipment amid the low oil price environment meant that the marine and offshore engineering segment had particularly choppy waters to navigate, said EDB.

Its vertiginous drop in output took the wind out of the larger transport engineering cluster's sails, forcing it to shrink at 26.4 per cent year-on-year in December. Other segments that make up the cluster registered growth in the same month. Aerospace saw a 15.4 per cent increase, while land transport had a 6.1 per cent increase.

For the whole of 2015, the transport engineering cluster's output was 13.5 per cent lower than in 2014.

The electronics cluster also pulled down manufacturing's overall performance. The cluster's output fell 12.4 per cent year-on-year in December, to bring 2015's total to 6.8 per cent lower than in 2014.

Precision engineering cluster output decreased 6.8 per cent, rounding the 2015 total at 4.1 per cent lower compared with 2014.

General manufacturing output decreased 5.3 per cent, bringing 2015's output to 2 per cent lower than in 2014.

The chemicals cluster decreased slightly by 0.3 per cent in December. Its total output in 2015 rose 3.9 per cent when compared with 2014.

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