Singapore Factory Output Down 29% in January

Electronics production declined 43.1%

For the fourth straight month, Singapore's industrial output fell. In January it fell 29.1%, the government said on Feb. 26.

Last month's fall in industrial output was dragged down by across-the-board declines in the sector with the transport engineering industry the only one to record a growth of 3.3%.

Electronics production posted the sharpest decline of 43.1% in January, worse than the 35.4% contraction in the previous month, and this is because of the drop in export demand. Singapore ships the bulk of its electronics products which make up 40% of the city-state's key exports.

For the rest of the manufacturing sector, biomedical manufacturing output slumped 27.3% from the same month last year, chemicals sank 24% and precision engineering fell 37.4%.

Additionally the Ministry of Trade and Industry unveiled its full assessment for the fourth quarter which showed a worse-than-expected annual economic contraction of 4.2%.

For 2008, the economy grew 1.1%.

Singapore is facing its worst ever recession with the government tipping a shrinkage of between 2% and 5% for 2009.

The city-state's worst recession since independence in 1965 was in 2001 when the economy contracted 2.4% in 2001.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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