Singapore’s Manufacturing Jumps above Forecast on Biomedical Output

manufacturing output

Manufacturing output in Singapore surged by 16.5 percent in March 2020—its fastest growth rate in nine years and beating analyst expectations, thanks to biomedical manufacturing, Singapore Economic Development Board said at the end of April.  

Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output was unchanged. On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, manufacturing output jumped by 21.7 percent in March 2020. Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output grew 2.5 percent, according to EDB data.

Biomedical manufacturing, precision engineering, transport engineering, and chemicals all recorded increases in manufacturing output in March, while general manufacturing and electronics saw their output decline.

Among the major sectors with growth, output in Singapore’s biomedical sector soared by 91.4 percent in March 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. Manufacturing of pharmaceuticals more than doubled, surging by 126.6 percent, on the back of higher production of active pharmaceutical ingredients and biological products. The medical technology segment rose 6.3 percent with higher export demand for medical devices. On a year-to-date basis, the biomedical manufacturing cluster grew 49.2 percent compared to the same period a year ago, EDB said.

Precision engineering output also performed strongly with 21.2 percent annual growth in March 2020, mostly due to the machinery & systems segment where output jumped by 28.7 percent thanks to higher production of semiconductor equipment. In the first quarter of 2020, Singapore’s precision engineering output increased by 20.6 percent compared to the same period in 2019.

Transport engineering manufacturing rose by 7.6 percent annually in March 2020, while the Q1 output in the sector was 3.2 percent higher than in the same period last year.