Singapore Output Shrinks 13.5% in December

However the biomedical sector increased 24.5%

In its third straight month of contraction Singapore's manufacturing output shrank 13.5% in December from a year ago, the government said on Jan. 21.

On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, output fell 11% and overall production last year dropped 4.1% from the previous year, the Economic Development Board said.

A 35.1% drop in electronics output led last month's fall, data showed. Electronics shipments comprise about 40% of Singapore's key exports, and a slump in global demand for consumer electronics globally has hit the city-state's factories severely.

For other industries, preliminary data showed chemical output down 23.3%, precision engineering off 21.1%, although transport engineering rose 2.2% and biomedical grew 24.5%.

The manufacturing data was released on the same day the government downgraded its 2009 economic forecast to a contraction of between 2% and 5%, reflecting a sharper deterioration in the global economic environment.

Singapore is in its worst-ever recession, the trade ministry said, with economic contractions in the last three quarters of 2008.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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