Singapore's Manufacturing Output Flat

Biomedical segment dropped 15.3% from last year.

Singapore's industrial output rose 0.9% in October from a year ago due to a drop in pharmaceuticals production, a figure that came in below expectations, the government said Nov. 26.

Compared with the previous month, October manufacturing output expanded 3% .

"The growth of the (industrial) sector was affected by the contraction in the biomedical manufacturing cluster," the Economic Development Board (EDB) said. Output in the biomedicals segment fell 15.3% from a year ago as production of pharmaceutical ingredients used in a wide range of medicines worldwide contracted 19.5% due to a change in product mix, EDB said.

Electronics production climbed 5.7%, buoyed by strong demand for chips used in telecommunication and consumer products, offsetting a decline in the output for computer peripherals.

Output in the transport engineering cluster expanded 5.8%, with the marine and offshore segment covering oil rig manufacturing, shipbuilding and ship repair rising 4.9%, faster than the 2.9% growth in September but much slower than the 36.9% expansion in August.

Chemicals output advanced 8.4% and precision engineering production grew 2.8%.

Manufacturing is a closely watched indicator of the Singapore economy's performance because it accounts for a quarter of total economic output.

Singapore's economy, the most advanced in Southeast Asia, is expected to grow between 7.5% and 8% this year.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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