Despite Covid-19 restrictions, Singapore’s overall manufacturing output expanded 27.5 percent year-on-year, witnessing a consecutive eight-month growth raised by a low base a year ago. The data released by the Economic Development Board showed an output growth of 24.8 percent excluding the volatile biomedical manufacturing segment. As per the analysts, the sustained demand for semiconductors and related products is likely to continue to support the manufacturing sector in the upcoming months, irrespective of growth momentum trends.
It was a favorable year for biomedical and medical segments given the increased demand for medical devices across the world. A year or year output growth in the biomedical manufacturing cluster was listed at 42.5 percent, and a 37.5 percent rise in the medical technology segment. This can be attributed to higher production of medical devices like active pharmaceutical ingredients and biological products.
With the exception of infocomms and consumer electronics, the electronics output of Singapore was 26.2 percent higher as compared to the last year, owing to the growth of 28.2 percent in the semiconductor segment supported by the rising demands from the cloud services and 5G markets.
The greater output of semiconductor and industrial process equipment also contributed to 22.2 percent year-on-year growth of Precision Engineering Production, with an expansion of 28.6 percent in the machinery and system segment.
There was a considerable slowdown last year in chemical manufacturing due to plant maintenance shutdowns and feeble export demand. This year the output rose by 30.6 percent with significant growth in the specialties and petroleum segments.
Barnabas Gan, Economist at United Overseas Bank, suggested that the future prospects of the chemical cluster in Singapore will be supported by the economic recovery in Singapore’s key trading partners (HK, China, Malaysia and the United States). There was still the possibility of slack because of ongoing COVID-19 infections there. It could impact trade demand unfavorably and restrict the export and manufacturing growth in the coming period.
The transport engineering output grew by 28.3 percent, as marine offshore engineering and aerospace segments took advantage of the low base recorded a year ago amidst the economic slowdowns led by Covid-19. A rise of 17.4 percent was seen in the general manufacturing output in contrast to last year.
Also, the miscellaneous industries segment witnessed a growth of 62.2 percent given the low base recorded a year ago, as production of construction-related materials was affected amid restrictions in the movement at foreign worker dormitories.