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Singapore factory output surges 21% in July, exceeds market expectations

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Leading the charge was the electronics cluster with a 49.1 per cent growth in July output versus the year-ago period.

SINGAPORE'S factory output in July far exceeded expectations by surging 21 per cent year on year, led mainly by strong output from the electronics and precision engineering clusters.

Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output grew 24.9 per cent year on year, based on the latest data released by the Economic Development Board (EDB) on Friday.

Private sector economists polled by Bloomberg had forecasted that industrial production in July will grow at a median estimate of 12.9 per cent year on year.

Growth momentum was maintained, as month-on-month manufacturing output expanded a seasonally-adjusted one per cent in July. With biomedical manufacturing stripped out, output grew 4.9 per cent.

All clusters registered a positive year-on-year output growth in July.

Leading the charge was the electronics cluster with a 49.1 per cent growth in July output versus the year-ago period, lifted by a robust 67.6 per cent output growth in semiconductors, an 18.9 per cent growth in computer peripherals and a 5.1 per cent growth infocomms and consumer electronics.

Precision engineering cluster clocked a 21.8 per cent growth year on year as the machinery and systems segment grew 25.4 per cent on higher export demand for semiconductor-related equipment.

Biomedical manufacturing cluster grew 5 per cent, led by the medical technology segment, which jumped 17.7 per cent on the back of strong export demand for medical devices. Pharmaceuticals output rose 0.6 per cent, supported by higher production of biological products.

Also recording year-on-year growth in July output are the general manufacturing industries cluster (+4.9 per cent), chemicals (+4.8 per cent) and transport engineering (+2.3 per cent).