ECONOMY, MANUFACTURING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Singapore plagued by manufacturing woes as December output sinks 7.9%

This marks the sharpest annual contraction on record.

Singapore saw its 11th consecutive month of manufacturing contraction as the nation’s manufacturing output saw a 7.9% pullback in December 2015. Stripping biomedical manufacturing, output fell 13%, according to a report by the Economic Development Board (EDB). This decline marks the sharpest annual contraction on record.

On a seasonally adjusted MoM basis, manufacturing output inched up 2% in December. Again, excluding biomedical manufacturing, figures revealed that output fell 2.7%.

Overall, manufacturing dipped 5.2% in 2015 compared to the preceding year.

The only segment to see growth was biomedical manufacturing, which surged 16.2% YoY in December 2015. For the full year, though, it also saw a decline of 2.6% compared to 2014.

The aerospace and land transport segment did see increases of 15.4% and 6.1%, respectively. This was offset, though, by the marine and offshore engineering segment as it sank 40.3% due to tapered rig-building activity and weaker demand for oilfield and gasfield equipment amidst the weak oil price landscape. For 2015, the transport engineering cluster’s output was 13.5% lower than in 2014.

The chemicals cluster dipped 0.3% in December 2015 compared to a year ago. Compared to 2014, it edged up 3.9% in 2015.

The general manufacturing cluster also weighed down on overall performance as it fell 5.3% YoY in December 2015. For the year, its output slipped 2% from a year ago.

The precision engineering cluster tumbled 6.8% in December, bringing its 2015 output 4.1% lower than in 2014.

Lastly, the electronics cluster’s output fell 12.4% in December. For the whole of 2015, its output was 6.8% lower than in the preceding year. 

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