The Singapore factory output strikes a 16.5% rise in March: impact of circuit breaker hit yet to be felt
Quite surprisingly, Singapore’s factory output witnessed a rebound in March 2020, as per the data put forward by the EDB (Economic Development Board) on 24th April. However, EDB has also made it quite clear that the manufacturing output in March was not quite affected by the novel coronavirus outbreak. April, on the other hand, will be experiencing the blow as a result of the circuit breaker measures put into force.
In March, the manufacturing activities, on an average, surged by 16.5% as compared with the same month last year, courtesy- the increase in pharmaceutical output in 2019 and a low base that emerged after a revised decrease of 0.7% in February.
Apart from biomedical manufacturing, all the other sectors of factory output remain unaltered.
Considering the configurations that are seasonally adjusted on month-on-month basis, manufacturing output was elevated by 21.7% which, in turn, happens to be a reversal of the 22.1% decrease that took place over January and was revealed in its following month.
Biomedical manufacturing output stalled by 91.4% in March 2019, when contrasted against the same period of the preceding year. Pharmaceuticals productivity augmented by 126.6% and the reasons can be attributed to improved manufacture of biological products and active pharmaceutical ingredients. The segment of medical technology amplified 6.3% and that is because of increased export demand pertaining to medical devices.
Besides these factors, another element that accentuated the production was precision in engineering output that rose by 21.2% in March. Its growth was significantly assigned to the 28.7% improvement of systems and machinery segment because the production of semiconductor equipment swelled.
Taking into account the bigger picture, the cluster of precision engineering enlarged by 20.6% within January and March, as weighed against the same span of the former year.
Transport engineering too, has its own share of growth which was by 7.6% year-on-year in March. The section of land transport developed by 15.2%, while the aerospace segment by 11.9%. Nevertheless, the aerospace division underwent enhanced procedures of maintenance and repair from commercial airlines. As opposed to this, the offshore and marine engineering section dropped by 0.7% owing to decreased demand for work in offshore projects.
Taken as a whole, the group of areas classified under transport engineering increased 3.2% during the first three months of 2020, as assessed against the same episode from last year.
Parallelly, the chemical cluster also increased its output by 0.8% in March as petroleum refining consistently grew by 30.9% after being impacted by maintenance shutdowns for a whole year. Similar to this, the segment of specialties matured by 8.8% because of the expanded production of gases and additives for industrial use, and the chemical grouping ascended by 5.9% for superior output of fragrances.
Shockingly, the petrochemicals segment shriveled by 7.2%; in January, February, and March of 2020, the output designated to chemical cluster dropped by 0.1% compared to the same phase of last year.
The general manufacturing output, plunged by 7.9% in the previous month, with all its subdivisions registering a decline in output, along with the miscellaneous printing and industries and sectors of foods, beverages, and tobacco.
Additionally, the electronics output also fell on its face, that is, by 9.2% and all its areas experienced a downward slide. Cumulatively, the output of the electronics cluster slumped by 10.5% through the first three months of 2020, as compared to the same in 2019.
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