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Singapore manufacturing grows for 10th straight month

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Singapore’s manufacturing output grew for the 10th straight month in April, though at a slower rate than was expected.

Todayonline reports that, according to figures released by Singapore’s Economic Development Board, April’s output grew by 4.6 per cent compared with April 2013.

However, it represents a drop from March’s figure of 12.1 per cent and was lower than the 6.5 per cent forecast by economists in a Reuters poll.

The biomedical sector performed particularly well. The biomedical manufacturing cluster grew by 23.8 per cent as pharmaceuticals output grew 26.5 per cent last month. In addition, chemicals production grew by 8.9 per cent.

On the negative side, the electronics sector performed poorly and posted an 8.8 per cent  fall in production in April when compared with last year. This is significant, as the sector accounts for over 25 per cent of Singapore’s manufacturing output.

According to ChannelNewsAsia, manufacturing output decreased by 4.7 per cent in April (on a seasonally-adjusted month-on-month basis).

Irvin Seah, senior economist at DBS Bank, said of the data - "We're seeing recovery in US, but the recovery is very slow; Eurozone is out of recession but there are still structural issues that need to be resolved; and China is now aiming for a slower pace of growth, so that implies Asia's demand will still be positive but at a lower peak.

"Given that, I think the pull back in the next couple of months in the second quarter is expected, before we see a gradual sustained improvement for the second half of the year."

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