Singapore Manufacturers Cautious about Next Six Months

Biomedical sector is relatively optimistic

Reflecting concerns over a slowing global economy, Singapore manufacturers are cautious about business prospects in the second half of the year, the Economic Development Board (EDB) showed July 31.

Thirteen percent of companies polled expected conditions to improve in the July to December period, while 12% predicted things to get worse, the EDB said.

The responses are weighted to account for the employment contribution and value added from individual businesses. This resulted in a net weighted balance of one percent expecting the business climate to improve, EDB said.

Companies in the biomedical sector, including pharmaceutical firms, and those in the transport engineering cluster, which covers oil rig fabrication and ship repair, were relatively optimistic, it said. Singapore makes most of the world's offshore oil drilling rigs. Companies in the chemicals cluster, which includes petrochemicals, had the most pessimistic outlook.

Singapore's economy expanded an annual 1.9% in the second quarter to June, its weakest pace in five years, amid a slowdown in key export markets the U.S. and the EU.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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