Updated: 03/27/2014 01:10

Singapore's manufacturing output for February rose 12.8% on-year

Singapore's manufacturing output for February rose 12.8% on-year

Singapore's manufacturing output rebounded strongly in February, growing 12.8 per cent on-year. 

Analysts say the growth is largely due to the low base posted during the Lunar New Year period last year.

Data released by the Singapore Economic Development Board shows that the biomedical manufacturing cluster climbed 19.3 per cent, boosted by higher production of pharmaceutical and biologic products. 

The electronics cluster added 14.8 per cent. 

The transport engineering cluster increased 11.1 per cent, helped by higher orders in the land transport segment for its production and assembly of vehicle parts. 

The precision engineering cluster rose 9.2 per cent, supported by strong growth in the machinery and systems segment. 

Although the chemicals cluster expanded 7.8 per cent, with a robust growth in the petrochemicals segment, 

Regional Economist at CIMB Research Song Seng Wun says there's an Achilles Heel in that segment. 

"The weak link remains petroleum refinery because of low prices and weak margin, that continues to come under pressure. We are hopeful that if the underlying recovery in global demand continues to be sustained, then I think demand for refined petroleum products will also correspondingly improve and hence margin and output will also similarly follow."

Looking ahead, Economist at United Overseas Bank Francis Tan says he expects the electronics cluster to continue its strong performance. 

"The semi-conductor cluster is around 60 per cent of the entire electronics cluster so any movement or optimism in the semi-conductor industry will actually help to boost the overall activity that we've seen in electronics manufacturing. And we do see that from the external pickup particularly in Asia and in America, we saw the semi conductor sales data picking up quite strongly over there."

Compared to January, manufacturing output rose 6.2 per cent in February. 

-By Gwendolyn Goh

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