Singapore Manufacturing Output Up 10%

Transport engineering increased 17.2% reversing 3.2% drop in January

On strong production in the electronics and transport engineering, Singapore's factory output rose an annual 10% in February, the Economic Development Board (EDB) said March 26.

Production of electronics, a key Singapore export, expanded 12.3% last month, faster than the 8% increase in January. Transport engineering, which covers the making of oil rigs and related equipment as well as shipbuilding and ship repair, jumped 17.2%, reversing a 3.2% drop in the previous month.

Biomedicals output, which covers pharmaceuticals, grew 9.3%, sharply decelerating from its annual growth of 60.3% in January.

Analysts had expected the manufacturing output to grow at 3.3% in February. Manufacturing accounts for about a quarter of the Singapore economy. The better-than-expected manufacturing output followed the release of data showing that Singapore's key non-oil domestic exports (NODX) rose an annual 7.3% in February, faster than the 2.8% growth clocked in the previous month.

Singapore's economy expanded 7.7% in 2007 but the trade ministry foresees a slower pace of 4%-6% this year because of increased risks from the U.S., a major buyer of the country's exports.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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