Singapore factory output jumps 30% in May, bolstered by low base a year ago

SINGAPORE – Manufacturing output in Singapore saw a huge jump in May, helped by the low base seen a year ago amid Covid-19 circuit breaker measures.

Singapore’s factory production expanded 30 per cent year on year – a seventh straight month of growth – according to data released by the Economic Development Board on Friday (June 25).

This exceeded the 24.1 per cent growth forecast by economists polled by Bloomberg and the adjusted 2.3 per cent increase seen in April.

Excluding the volatile biomedical manufacturing segment, output rose 29 per cent.

On a month-on-month seasonally adjusted basis, overall factory output increased 7.2 per cent. Excluding biomedical manufacturing, production grew 9.8 per cent.

Expansion was seen across all clusters, with precision engineering the top performer with a 58.6 per cent surge from a year ago.

This was supported by a 73.4 per cent jump in the machinery and systems segment, which benefited from higher production of semiconductor equipment to cater to the strong capital investment in the global chip industry.

The precision engineering cluster grew 22.7 per cent in the first five months of the year, compared to the same period in 2020.

Electronics manufacturing rose 23.2 per cent, with all segments seeing a higher level of production. The semiconductors segment in particular grew 25.5 per cent, supported by demand from 5G markets and a low production base a year ago.

The cluster saw a 22.9 per cent increase in the first five months of 2021 compared to the same period a year ago.

The transport engineering sector saw a 44 per cent expansion in May, on the back of a low base a year ago amid domestic Covid-19 measures and movement restrictions at foreign worker dormitories which negatively affected production.

The biomedical manufacturing segment saw a 35.6 per cent increase in May, with higher export demand for medical devices driving growth in the medical technology segment.

Higher production of active pharmaceutical ingredients and biological products also supported the 38 per cent year on year rise in the pharmaceutical segment.

General manufacturing output saw an uptick of 27.8 per cent in May due to a low base. Growth in the miscellaneous industries and printing segments outweighed the decline in the food, beverage and tobacco segment, which was due to weaker export demand.

Chemicals production increased 16.2 year on year in May, with growth across all segments. The cluster expanded 10.3 per cent between January and May this year, compared to a year ago.

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