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Singapore’s manufacturing output plummets 9.2% in March

Singapore’s manufacturing output dropped 9.2% in March 2024, reflecting broader economic struggles and a significant contraction in both electronics and non-electronics sectors.



Singapore’s manufacturing sector continued its downward trend with a 9.2% decline in output in March 2024 compared to the previous year, as reported by the Singapore Economic Development Board on Friday (26 Apri).

This decrease mirrors broader economic challenges, evidenced by a significant contraction in non-oil domestic exports (NODX) earlier in the month.

Sector-Specific Analysis

Chemicals: This cluster showed resilience with a 4.2% increase. Notably, the petrochemicals segment saw a significant rise of 17.0%, benefiting from a low production base last year due to maintenance shutdowns. The specialties and petroleum segments also recorded growths of 5.4% and 2.1%, respectively.

Precision Engineering: There was a 3.2% growth in this sector, driven by a 5.5% increase in the machinery and systems segment, which saw higher production of front-end semiconductor equipment. However, the precision modules & components segment experienced a 6.5% decline.

General Manufacturing: This sector faced a decline of 3.2%. While the food, beverages & tobacco segment grew by 4.5%, driven by increased production of milk powder and cocoa products, the printing and miscellaneous industries segments fell by 3.9% and 13.8%, respectively.

Transport Engineering: This cluster declined by 9.7% year-on-year, with the aerospace and marine & offshore engineering segments dropping by 7.8% and 15.3%, respectively.

Electronics: Facing a notable decline, the electronics cluster’s output fell by 11.3%. Despite growth in the infocomms & consumer electronics and other electronics modules & components segments, steep declines in computer peripherals & data storage and semiconductors, by 4.5% and 14.4% respectively, pulled the overall numbers down.

The first quarter of 2024 has not been promising for Singapore’s manufacturing sectors, with many showing downturns or marginal growth. The biomedical manufacturing cluster, in particular, contracted by 16.7% due to significant reductions in pharmaceutical production.

Connection to Broader Economic Trends

Earlier on 17 April, official data from Enterprise Singapore (ES) highlighted a year-on-year plunge of 20.7% in NODX for March, following a marginal decrease of 0.2% in February. This contraction spanned both the electronics and non-electronics sectors, significantly impacting the overall economic landscape.

The electronics sector, despite some growth in segments like infocomms and consumer electronics manufacturing, faced overall challenges as electronic NODX dropped by 9.4%. Particularly hard-hit categories included telecommunications equipment, which plummeted by 38.8%, and integrated circuits, which fell by 8.0%.

The non-electronics sector fared even worse, with a staggering 23.2% decline. Notably, pharmaceuticals, which also saw a severe drop in manufacturing output, declined by 70.3% in NODX, reflecting disruptions in global supply chains and shifts in international demand.

Shipbuilding components also faced near-total reductions, with a 99.8% decline in structures of ships and boats, indicating a severe downturn in global shipping and marine engineering markets.

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Regional currencies are depreciating against the USD. Japanese Yen, Korean Won, Thai Baht, Malaysian Ringgit…etc. Foreign investors will flock to these countries first if the US Federal Reserve decides to lower interest rates. In the mean time, goods produced in those countries will be the preferred choice. What is the point of keeping the Sing dollar strong when the average Singaporean does not feel any benefits? The cost of everything, most of which is imported is still going up. Shouldn’t it be getting cheaper? Sure, those who can afford it get a discount on their next vacation. But how does… Read more »

So the relentless pursue of Foreign Talents in the last 10 or 20 years STILL has NOT had matced the GNP or GDP of yesteryear’s period when Goh K Swee, Lim Kim San, Hon S Sen, JYM Pillay, Dr Hon Hai, Dr Wan Soon Bee to name a few of those EXCELLENT personnel drawing salaries DWARFED by these Millionaire PAP Actors, and they managed SG GNP GDP highs of 6~8 per cent average annually.

Such a sudden large drop. This really look suspiciously like they did forward accounting for the last few months. Kelong 101 (for those who knows how to cook the accounts).

They couldn’t possibly “dress” this up any longer or further !!! Remember, … only a few weeks ago this regime was announcing that locals were nearing full employment !!! This regime’s relentless spin on the economy, employment and earnings potentials has indeed, come full circle, … where “reality” can no longer be hushed and hidden away, has now decided to rise and consume whole, … the baloney and bullshit that has been spewed endlessly !!! Furthermore, given the escalating costs of just about everything, never mind raw materials, especially when you factor in, … “most expensive city” status, how could… Read more »