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Singapore’s manufacturing output drops 10.8% in May 2023, EDB reports

SINGAPORE – The Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), a government agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, revealed a downturn in the nation’s manufacturing output in its latest report released today.

The data shows a 10.8% decrease in manufacturing output in May 2023 compared to the same period last year. This decrease deepens to 13.0% upon excluding the biomedical manufacturing sector.

The EDB’s report indicates that compared to the previous month, the manufacturing output on a seasonally adjusted basis dipped by 3.9% in May 2023.

When excluding the biomedical manufacturing sector, this decline sharpens to 8.0%. Furthermore, the three-month moving average shows a decrease in manufacturing output by 7.0% in May compared to last year.

Despite this general downturn, certain sectors bucked the trend. The transport engineering sector experienced a robust growth of 28.4% year-on-year in May 2023.

The aerospace segment expanded by 35.9%, propelled by heightened demand for aircraft parts from the US and Europe, and an increase in maintenance, repair, and overhaul jobs due to rising global air traffic.

Additionally, a 31.5% expansion in the marine & offshore engineering segment contributed to the sector’s overall growth.

The EDB also highlighted the resilience of the biomedical manufacturing sector, reporting a year-on-year output increase of 4.4% for May 2023. This was led by a 6.3% growth in the pharmaceuticals segment, due to the production of a diversified mix of active pharmaceutical ingredients.

The medical technology segment also experienced modest growth of 0.4%, buoyed by solid export demand for medical devices.

However, some sectors faced significant challenges. The electronics sector saw a marked year-on-year decrease in output by 23.0% in May. The precision engineering and chemicals clusters also registered declines in output, dropping by 10.5% and 9.5%, respectively.

General manufacturing output fell marginally by 0.3% in May 2023, pulled down by contractions in the printing and miscellaneous industries segments. Nonetheless, the food, beverages & tobacco segment managed to grow by 3.6%, bolstered by increased production of milk powder and beverage concentrates.

The EDB will release its next monthly manufacturing performance report on 26 July.

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