, Singapore

Manufacturing output recovers to 17.6% in February

Electronics manufacturing expanded amidst the global chip shortage.

Singapore's manufacturing output was boosted by 17.6% year-on-year (YoY) in February, compared to the 2.4% growth recorded the month previous.

Manufacturing output excluding biomedical rose by 16.8%, according to the latest data from the Economic Development Board.

On a month-on-month seasonally adjusted basis, manufacturing output and output excluding biomedical manufacturing grew by 16.6% and 12.3%, respectively.

All manufacturing sectors expanded, except for chemicals, which dipped by 2.7%.

Electronics showed the highest output growth, at 32.4% due to a 39.4% growth in the semiconductors segment, buoyed by the demand from 5G markets and data centres.

"The prolonged global chip shortage with demand outstripping supply is driving output. Lead times – the lag between when a chip is ordered and delivered – rose to 26.2 weeks (versus 25.7 in January), based on data compiled by Susquehanna Financial Group," said analysts from Maybank Securities Singapore.

Biomedical showed the next highest growth, at 15.3%, followed by general manufacturing at 12.6, and transport engineering at 4.5%. Precision engineering expanded by a meager 1.0%.

"We keep to our view that Singapore’s manufacturing prognosis remains favourable for the year ahead. The recovery especially in the transport engineering sector has been exceptionally encouraging, and may stay supported by the gradual reopening of international borders," said UOB Economist Barnabas Gan.

UOB kept its manufacturing growth forecast at an average of 4.0% for the full year.

For its part, Maybank expects the first-quarter GDP to come in at around 4.5%, driven by manufacturing growth.

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