Singapore's Factory Output Sees Record Rise in May

Manufacturing output surged 58.6%

Singapore said on June 25 that manufacturing output surged a record 58.6% year on year in May as factories raced to meet robust foreign orders for electronics and pharmaceuticals.

Last month's factory production, which eclipsed the previous record high of 49.7% posted in April.

The monthly data from the Economic Development Board (EDB) said factory production in May was boosted by electronics and biomedical which includes pharmaceuticals. Electronics output rose an annual 51.8% while biomedical manufacturing expanded 117% with the main boost coming from a 121.8% jump in pharmaceuticals, the EDB said.

For the other sectors, chemicals surged 19.6% precision engineering rose 40.5% and transport engineering increased 0.3%.

Overall manufacturing output was up 45.1% in the January-May period, the EDB said.

Singapore's monthly factory data is a barometer of how its economy is doing as the bulk of output from the sector is shipped out either as final goods or as components to foreign factories.

The economy shrank 1.3% last year as exports declined sharply amid the global downturn, which hit Singapore's major markets, particularly the US, hard.

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