S'pore Industrial Output down 0.6%

Singapore's manufacturing output in December 2012 performed better than expected as the increase in output from the biomedical sector helped offset the drag from electronics. 

In a statement, the Economic Development Board or EDB said industrial production fell 0.6 per cent from a year earlier. 

Analysts had forecast a year-on-year contraction of more than 4 per cent. 

Excluding biomedical manufacturing, Singapore's manufacturing output declined 5.2 per cent on-year. 

The biomedical cluster had recorded a 19.5 per cent growth in its output from a year ago. 

This was led mainly by a 21 per cent jump in the pharmaceuticals segment and an 11.8 per cent increase in the medical technology segment. 

Output of the transport engineering cluster grew 10.6 per cent year-on-year, while the chemicals cluster climbed 4.4 per cent. 

Meanwhile, the electronics cluster's output contracted 16.9 per cent in December, weighed down by continued weakness in electronics demand. 

The precision engineering cluster saw its output drop 7.9 per cent on-year while general manufacturing cluster's output fell 2.4 per cent. 

On a month-on-month basis, total manufacturing output grew 5.4 percent after seasonal adjustments.