MANUFACTURING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Transport engineering drags manufacturing output in October

It showed a 26.9% contraction in the said month.

Even if the industrial output registered an expansion 1.2% it moderated from a 7.7% growth in the previous month.

According to DBS Group Research, the key drag has been the transport engineering, which posted a 26.9% decrease in ouput. General manufacturing was also down, falling 22.2% in the previous month.

"The decline in general manufacturing is probably a result of the ongoing domestic restructuring weighing down on industrial activities. Spikes in manufacturing costs over the past years have diluted competitiveness. The tight rein on foreign labour has further compounded the pain," the firm explained.

However, it noted that the output for the past month is still that of a modest recovery, as electronics and biomedical buoy overall output.

The research house pointed out that the electronics production continues to show growth despite the slump in exports.

"Electronics production output continues to march north despite the slump in electronics exports. This contradiction is due to companies relocating their lower value-added activities offshore, which affects the export value, while maintaining their high value-added activities in Singapore," the firm explained.

It added, "As a result, the turnaround in the global electronics cycle has lifted domestic electronics output but unfortunately was not captured in the export numbers."

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