Singapore announced, on Friday, a 6.7 percent decline in industrial production from a year ago in June, decreasing for the second consecutive month and missing expectations, largely due to a drop in pharmaceutical manufacturing.
The median of the predictions of eight economists was for an increase of 0.8 percent, after a revised 8.1 percent fall in May. Industrial production was up by 0.2 percent in June on a month-to-month and seasonally adjusted basis, figures from the Singapore Economic Development Board disclosed. Economists had predicted an increase of 10.3 percent.
Biomedical output registered one of the biggest drops, with output falling by 30 percent. The medical technology sector expanded nearly 6 percent to meet coronavirus-related medical device export demand, but the pharmaceutical segment contracted 37.4 percent with lower biological product production.
The biomedical manufacturing cluster has expanded 27 percent on a year-to-date basis compared with the same period last year. The electronics cluster, on the other hand, saw production rise by 17 percent, mainly due to the semiconductors sector that grew by 25 percent, driven by demand from Cloud providers and data centers, as well as 5G markets.
The government's precision engineering cluster's output was up 9.1 percent year on year for the month, and 11.5 percent in the first two quarters, while the transport engineering cluster's production was down 34 percent in June and 15.3 percent in the first half this year.
Singapore's chemical sector's production was down 12.2 percent last month and 5.4 percent in the January to June period. The country's general manufacturing segment's output has narrowed 14 percent in June and 11 percent in the first two quarters for the current year. The infocomms and consumer electronics segment rallied almost 7 percent.
In the marine and offshore engineering sectors, the production also narrowed 53.2 percent. This was because limitations in the movement to curb the spread of coronavirus in foreign worker dormitories slowed the progression of activities in the ship building yards, the Economic Development Board noted.
Singapore's Ministry of Manpower, on Tuesday, disclosed that 891 dormitories and 56 blocks for recovered employees in 17 custom-built dormitories had been declared virus-free. As of Tuesday, 247,000 migrant workers had either recovered from COVID-19 or been tested to be free of the virus.
The aerospace segment, on the other hand, also contracted 23 percent, as the volume of plane repair and maintenance work remained low in the midst of the ongoing global health crisis. July's monthly manufacturing activity output will be announced on August 26.