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Singapore's electronics output continues stellar run in September
THE predicted slowdown in Singapore's September manufacturing output has not come in as sharply as economists feared, as the electronics cluster continued to register double-digit growth.
The Economic Development Board on Thursday reported that factory production for September increased 14.6 per cent compared to a year ago, beating economists' expectations of 10 per cent in a poll by Bloomberg.
September's factory data was closely-watched as earlier exports figures showed that electronics exports fell for the first time after four months of solid growth.
But doubts about September's industrial production seemed to have been put to rest on Thursday as electronics continued to surge, lifting overall factory growth for the month.
With this stronger-than-expected showing, economists say that the gross domestic product (GDP) for Q3 is likely to be revised upwards.
On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, however, manufacturing output decreased 0.5 per cent in September.
Excluding the volatile biomedical sector, manufacturing output grew 16.1 per cent. On a month-on-month basis, it fell 0.1 per cent.
The electronics cluster proved once again to be a star performer, expanding by 33.2 per cent in September. This was powered mainly by the semiconductors and computer peripherals segments, which posted growth of 46.2 per cent and 25.9 per cent, respectively.
Output of the precision engineering cluster grew 15.4 per cent year on year in September, driven mostly by the precision modules & components segment, which posted robust growth of 24.5 per cent.
The chemicals cluster's output increased 9.5 per cent in September, with growth recorded in all segments, particularly the other chemicals and petroleum segments.
The biomedical manufacturing cluster's output grew 8.0 per cent last month, thanks to the medical technology segment which rose 11.5 per cent on the back of higher export demand for medical devices, while the pharmaceuticals segment increased 6.8 per cent with a higher production of biological products.
The transport engineering cluster fared the worst, with a 10.8 per cent year-on-year decline in September.