Singapore’s manufacturing output has expanded by 11.2% y-o-y in August, according to data released by the Economic Development Board on Sept 24.

This marks the tenth straight month of growth. However, the figure also represents further easing after the 16.7% growth recorded in July and 30% growth logged in June.

Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output grew 13.6% y-o-y. On a three-month moving average basis, manufacturing output increased 18.3% in August compared to a year ago. On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month (m-o-m) basis, manufacturing output increased 5.7%.

With the exception of biomedical manufacturing, all clusters registered broad-based growth in the month of August.

Transport engineering output expanded 23.5% y-o-y in August, led by the marine & offshore engineering and aerospace segments which rose 36.9% and 22% respectively. The levels of activity in the shipyards and aerospace firms had increased from a low base last year when new orders were impacted by the weak global oil & gas market and international travel restrictions respectively amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Precision engineering output increased 22.9% y-o-y in August, largely attributed to the machinery & systems segment, which grew 33.1% with a higher output of semiconductor and industrial process equipment.

Electronics output increased 15.4% y-o-y in August. Except for the computer peripherals & data storage segment, all segments recorded output growth. In particular, the semiconductors segment grew 16.8%, supported by demand from 5G markets.


General manufacturing output grew 6.2% y-o-y in August, lef by the miscellaneous industries segment grew 33.2% from a low base last year, when demand for construction-related materials was adversely affected by Covid-19.

Conversely, the food, beverage & tobacco and printing segments fell 6% and 16.7% respectively, with the former recording lower production of milk powder due to weaker export demand.

Chemicals output grew 0.4% y-o-yin August. The petroleum segment recorded an output growth of 22.1% from the low production base a year ago due to lower export demand amid the Covid-19 outbreak. Conversely, the specialties, petrochemicals and other chemicals segments contracted 0.3%, 0.7% and 1.5% respectively. In particular, the petrochemicals recorded lower production due to plant maintenance shutdowns.

In contrast to the other clusters, biomedical manufacturing output contracted 0.6% y-o-y in August. While the medical technology segment rose by 8.2% y-o-y on the back of higher export demand for medical devices, the pharmaceuticals segment declined 3.4% due to a different mix of active pharmaceutical ingredients.


Photo: Tiong Woon