Singapore manufacturing output up 0.9% in May
But excluding the biomedical cluster, output shrank 2.3 percent, according to the Economic Development Board (EDB).
May's overall increase was underpinned by the 13.2 percent year-on-year rise in biomedical output, with the pharmaceuticals segment up 14.2 percent, and the medical technology segment rising 9.2 percent.
The electronics cluster rose 5.9 percent, lifted by higher output in semiconductors (16.6 percent) and other electronic modules and components (4.5 percent), although this was partially offset by declines in other areas.
All the remaining clusters suffered a drop in output - led by transport engineering, which sank 17.2 percent in May.
This came even as aerospace expanded 21.7 percent on the back of more engine repair jobs from commercial airlines, while output from land transport rose 10 percent.
The main drag on the cluster came from marine and offshore engineering, which slumped 34.2 percent due to less rig-building activity and weaker demand for oilfield and gasfield equipment in the light of low oil prices.
The chemicals cluster's output fell 0.8 percent in May. The other chemicals segment posted a robust growth of 22.3 percent and the petroleum segment rose 4.4 percent, but this was not enough to make up for the decline in the specialities (-4.2 percent) and petrochemicals (-10.8 percent) segments.
Output of the precision engineering cluster slid 1 percent, while that of general manufacturing industries decreased 2 percent.
On a seasonally adjusted month- on-month basis, total manufacturing output was down 0.4 percent over April. Exclude biomedical manufacturing and the drop was 1.4 percent. ■