Bloomberg News

Singapore’s Production Growth Slows on Decline in Electronics

October 25, 2011

Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Singapore’s industrial production growth slowed in September after sales of electronics slumped and the increase in pharmaceuticals output eased.

Manufacturing, which accounts for more than a fifth of the economy, climbed 12.8 percent from a year earlier after a revised 22.8 percent increase in August, the Economic Development Board said in a statement today. The median estimate of 17 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for an 8.2 percent gain.

Singapore lowered its growth forecast for 2011 this month and said the expansion may slow further next year as the European debt crisis and a faltering U.S. recovery damp demand for goods made in Asia. The island’s central bank, which uses the exchange rate to manage inflation, said this month it will slow gains in the local dollar, joining regional policy makers from Indonesia to the Philippines in moving to protect growth.

“The biomedical sector has performed very well in the last three months, but it is subject to large unpredictable swings and hence cannot drive a sustained recovery,” Vincent Conti, a Singapore-based analyst at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., said before the report. “Moreover, continued weakness in key sectors outside of biomedical will continue to be a drag on overall production growth.”

Singapore’s industrial production fell a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent in September from August, when it climbed a revised 4.5 percent from the previous month, today’s report showed. The median of 12 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey was for a 6 percent decline.

Electronics production decreased 26.5 percent from a year earlier, while pharmaceutical output increased 92.3 percent after surging 161.6 percent in August.

North American orders for semiconductor equipment fell 15.3 percent in September from a month earlier, a trade group report showed. The book-to-bill ratio, a gauge of industry health, was 0.75, meaning chip-equipment companies received $75 in new orders for every $100 in sales. A ratio below 1 indicates a contracting market for chip-equipment tools.

--Editors: Stephanie Phang, Ken McCallum

To contact the reporter on this story: Shamim Adam in Singapore at sadam2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Phang at sphang@bloomberg.net


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