SINGAPORE: 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.
The Economic Development Board (EDB) said in a statement that industrial production fell 0.6 per cent from a year earlier, but rose 5.4 per cent from November after seasonal adjustments.
Analysts had forecast a year-on-year contraction of more than 4 per cent, and a month-on-month growth of about 0.2 per cent.
Excluding biomedical manufacturing, Singapore's manufacturing output declined 5.2 per cent on-year in December and increased 1.2 per cent from the preceding month.
The biomedical cluster recorded a 19.5 per cent growth in its output from a year ago. This was led mainly by a 21.0 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 in December, while the chemicals cluster climbed 4.4 per cent.
Meanwhile, the electronics cluster's output contracted 16.9 per cent in December compared to the same period last year, 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 output fell 2.4 per cent.
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