Pharma fuels unexpected jump in Singapore manufacturing in March
24 Apr 2020
Singapore’s factory output in March rose at its fastest pace in more than nine years, surging past expectations, as pharmaceutical manufacturing more than doubled, data showed today.
Output rose 21.7% on a month-on-month and seasonally adjusted basis, data from the Singapore Economic Development Board showed, the biggest jump since January 2011. The median of six economists’ forecasts was for a 2% fall.
On a year-on-year (y-o-y) basis, output rose 16.5% — the biggest increase since January 2018 — well above expectations for a 6.3% drop.
Pharmaceutical output increased 126.6% y-o-y, with higher production of active pharmaceutical ingredients and biological products. Shipments of pharmaceuticals pushed Singapore’s annual exports up 17.6% in March, data last week showed.
It was not immediately clear whether the surge in pharmaceuticals production was related to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has infected more than 2.6 million people globally.
Pharmaceutical output is inherently volatile because production happens in batches, which can take anywhere from a few days to weeks to make.
Electronics output decreased 9.2% in March y-o-y.