ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Industrial production growth to hit 7.6% in 2018: RHB

Semiconductor demand is projected to slow but not too severely.

Singapore's industrial production index (IPI) rose +10.1% in 2017, accelerating from +3.7% in 2016.

RHB Research said the IPI should remain positive in 2018, but also ease to +7.6%.

According to a report, semiconductor demand is projected to slow but not too severely, as it would be supported by higher production of radio frequency chips and testing activities.

On the upside, pharmaceutical production and offshore marine activities are expected to recover from low bases this year.

"The former would be boosted by the high number of new patents approved this year, whilst the latter should find support in higher oil prices," RHB said.

Electronics production had a strong run in 2017, growing 33.5%, compared to just 15.8% in 2016. However, the cluster is expected to rise at a softer pace, in line with the end of the semiconductor upcycle. 

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