In 2019, based on the figures released by the Economic Development Board (EDB) on Friday (24 Jan), Singapore’s factory output fell 1.4 per cent in comparison to 2018 where there was 7.2 per cent growth.
The decline in December was dampened by the key electronics output which started picking up the pace of growth. Manufacturing output fell 0.7 per cent in the previous month from a year ago, an improvement from the 8.9 per cent slump in November.
November’s 9.3 per cent decline was upwardly revised to 8.9 per cent decline.
December’s biomedical manufacturing output slowed 3.2 per cent.
The newest output figures have been within expectations, with December’s output being tipped to drop 0.6 per cent year-on-year by analysts polled by Bloomberg.
Over a quarter of the country’s factory output is accounted by electronics output, which recovered 0.2 per cent in December from a 22.2 per cent decline in November. Semiconductors, data storage and other electronic components & modules rose 1 per cent, 42.6 per cent and 12.4 per cent each.
In the whole of 2019, the electronics cluster experienced a full-year contraction of 7.4 per cent.
In December, biomedical manufacturing grew 10.3 per cent from a year earlier. Increasing export demand for medical devices led to the medical technology segment expanding 20 per cent. On the whole, in 2019, the biomedical manufacturing cluster’s output increased 10.7 per cent.
The cluster that experienced the largest decline was transport engineering, which declined 14.1 per cent year-on-year in December. This is due to the contraction in shipbuilding and offshore activities which led to the 31.2 per cent decline in the marine & offshore engineering cluster. But, aerospace and land segments saw an expansion by 1.2 per cent and 28.1 per cent each.
In the whole of 2019, transport engineering output declined by 1.8 per cent.
Food, beverages and tobacco segments saw a 20.2 per cent, which further led to the general manufacturing output decline by 10 per cent. Nonetheless, the full year output rose 1.5 per cent.
As for chemical output, it declined 5.2 per cent with the petrochemical production segment suffering the most with 8.5 per cent decline as a result of maintenance shutdowns. The full-year output fell 2 per cent for the cluster.
Output expanded 7 per cent in the precision engineering cluster, fuelled by a 19.1 per cent spike in demand for precision components and modules. For the whole year, the cluster output declined 2.5 per cent.
Total manufacturing output which has been seasonally adjusted month-on-month rose 4.1 per cent in December. Output expanded 1.1 per cent if biomedical engineering is excluded.