The growth of factory output in Singapore manages to surprise everyone from one month to the other. Because of the increasing demand for products in certain sectors, more precisely semiconductors and other similar equipment, devices for the medical domain, and pharmaceuticals, the output continued to grow, the numbers exceeding predictions once more. So, as the numbers show, the month of February brought an increase of 16.4% in the production of factories. Experts expected a growth of only 15.8%, so reality brought in a surprise, especially since January ended with an increase of only 9.2%.
Compared to last year, and if we take out biometrical manufacturing of the calculations, the month of February 2021 recorded an increase of 13.6%. If we are to look at everything we’ve been through lately, we have to admit that such an increase gives us hope that we’re heading in the right direction. The biggest growth was noticed in the semiconductor sector, which enjoyed a growth of 36.5%. According to the EDB, this growth was stimulated by the events of the past year, more precisely the increasing demands coming from the growing 5G market and low production levels recorded by 2020. Then the cluster made out of key electronics follows, with a growth of 30.3%, while the sector encompassing consumer electronics and info-communications recorded a growth of 5.7%.
According to Mr. Barnabas Gan, who is an economist at UOB, the year that comes will also bring along growth in the electronics sector. As he stated, the solutions embraced throughout the world, such as cloud technology and 5G services will lead to further increases regarding semiconductors. The growing demand for this semiconductor gear triggered an increase in other industries as well. For instance, the systems and machinery sector enjoyed a whopping 23.5% increase, which, in its turn, generated growth in the cluster of precision engineering.
The manufacturing of biometrical devices also recorded growth, triggered by the increasing demand for high-end medical devices. Thus, the biometrical manufacturing sector closed the month with an increase of 23.9%, while the pharmaceuticals sectors managed to grow by 16,7%. Of course, it is worth mentioning the sector of medical technology, which also grew this February by 12.6%.
Another industry that enjoyed growth in the second month of the years was the chemical industry. It rose by 2.5%, helped by two particular segments that did better overall. More precisely, the manufacturing of industrial gases and adjacent additives, which compose the segment of specialties, recorded a growth of 8%. Then the second segment that recorded a positive growth was the one encompassing petrochemicals, with an increase of 6.1%. Other sectors of the chemical industry, however, recorded declines, such as the petroleum and chemicals sectors, which explains why the growth of this industry reached only a bit over 2%.
Considering the unexpected growth provided by the month of February, the EDB revised its forecast for the year, increasing the numbers. So, if the growth of 3% was forecasted in the manufacturing sector, now the forecast includes a value of 5.5% until the end of 2021. As you can tell, the GDP will also increase due to the new forecast, which reached a growth of 5.5% instead of just 5% as it was set previously. We can only hope for this to continue evolving as well as they started in the first months of the year.
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