ECONOMY, MANUFACTURING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Factory output shrinks 0.5% in January, marking longest slump in almost four decades

This is the 12th straight month of contraction.

Singapore’s industrial production declined by 0.5% year-on-year in January, beating bearish consensus expectations of a 4.8% drop.

However, the decline marks the 12th consecutive month of output contraction—the longest stretch of shrinking industrial production since records started in 1980, according to UOB.

Data from the Economic Development Board (EDB) show that overall output was once again propped up by biomedical manufacturing, which jumped 28.9% in January. Without this boost, the headline industrial production figure would have contracted by 7% year-on-year.

Other manufacturing clusters did not fare so well in the first month of the year. Output of the chemicals cluster dropped by 3.7% year-on-year, while general manufacturing production dropped by 4.4% year-on-year. Output of the precision engineering cluster decreased by 8.4%, while transport engineering production slumped by 23.3% year-on-year.

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