Manufacturing output of the country grew in May

Manufacturing output of the country grew in May

Singapore’s manufacturing output grew for a seventh consecutive month in May, increasing 30 percent year-on-year, official data showed on Friday.

This is the biggest increase since November 2010, Reuters reported, and outpaced the previous month’s 2.1 percent.

Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output grew 29 percent year-on-year in May.

Due in part to the “circuit breaker” measures in place in May last year, said the Economic Development Board (EDB).

On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, manufacturing output increased 7.2 percent in May, data showed.

Increase in manufacturing output

All clusters saw year-on-year increases in May, headlined by precision engineering, which grew 58.6 percent.

This was led by the machinery and systems segment, which rose 73.4 percent on account of higher production of semiconductor equipment to cater to the “strong capital investment in the global semiconductor industry”, said EDB.

The precision modules and components segment also rose 30.4 percent, as production of optical products, metal precision components and plastic precision products increased.

The transport engineering cluster expanded 44 percent year-on-year in May, with the marine and offshore engineering segment growing 71 percent.

This was due to domestic circuit breaker measures and movement restrictions at foreign worker dormitories that “adversely affected” production last year, said EDB.

The aerospace segment grew 21.3 percent from a low base last year due to the grounding of aircrafts amid travel restrictions brought on by COVID-19.

Biomedical manufacturing output increased 35.6 percent year-on-year in May.

The medical technology segment grew 47.6 percent on the back of higher export demand for medical devices.

While the pharmaceutical segment saw a 38 percent rise with the increase in production of active pharmaceutical ingredients and biological products.

General manufacturing output rose 27.8 percent year-on-year in May, with miscellaneous industries growing 96.1 percent from a low base last year.

When many of the construction related industries had to either stop or reduce production due to circuit breaker measures. The printing segment also grew 8.7 percent.

Electronics cluster expanded 23.2 percent year-on-year in May, as all segments recorded a higher level of production. 

The semiconductors segment grew 25.5 percent, supported by demand from 5G markets and a low production base last year, EDB said.

Chemicals output increased 16.2 percent year-on-year in May, with all segments also recording output growth.

Source: Channes News Asia

Airline sector sees a rebound for the first time in a year

Airline sector sees a rebound for the first time in a year

After flying into the financial turbulence of the pandemic, the airline sector expects passenger traffic to take off despite concerns about the industry’s impact on climate change.

In its latest look at trends for the airline sector, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said.

It doesn’t expect world air traffic to resume to its pre-pandemic level before 2023.

But over 20 years, air traffic should almost double, from 4.5 billion passengers in 2019 to 8.5 billion in 2039.

That is, however, a drop of one billion passengers from IATA’s pre-crisis forecast.

Nevertheless, that will be good news for aircraft manufacturers.

Who slowed down production during the crisis as the airline sector cancelled orders to stay financially afloat.

Airbus has already announced it plans to step up the manufacturing cadence of its best-selling A320 single-aisle aircraft.

And should reach a record level already in 2023.

Boeing, for its part, forecasts that airlines will need 43,110 new aircraft through 2039, which will result in a near doubling of the global fleet. Asia alone will account for 40 percent of that demand.

As with the Sep11 attacks or the global financial crisis of 2007-2009,

“the industry will prove resilient again”, Darren Hulst, vice president of marketing at Boeing, said last year.

Marc Ivaldi, research director at the Paris-based School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, noted that only 1 percent of the population currently uses air travel.

“With the simple demographic rise and the fact that people become richer there will be rising demand for air travel and thus for aircraft,” he told AFP.

If the biggest aircraft fleets are currently in the United States and Europe, the biggest increases are expected in Asia and the Middle East, the consulting firm Oliver Wyman said in a recent study.

Source: Channel News Asia

Manufacturing output rose 7.6% in March in Singapore

Manufacturing output rose 7.6% in March in Singapore

Singapore’s manufacturing output rose 7.6 percent year-on-year in March for a fifth consecutive month of growth, albeit at a slower pace than the previous months.

March’s expansion follows a 16.5 percent year-on-year increase in February, according to official data released on Monday (Apr 26).

Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output grew by 14.9 percent in March.

Electronics lead the manufacturing output

The key electronics cluster led the growth in March with a 33.7 percent increase in output on a year-on-year basis.

This was attributed to the semiconductors segment expanding 37.8 percent, supported by demand from cloud services, data centers and 5G markets, said the Economic Development Board (EDB).

The computer peripherals and data storage segments also grew 27.4 percent.

Other clusters that saw output growth include chemicals, which expanded 9.5 percent, as well as precision engineering, which rose 5.6 percent.

Biomedical manufacturing output contracted 6.6 percent year-on-year in March, reversing the 22.1 percent increase in February.

The medical technology segment grew 23.3 percent with higher export demand for medical devices. On the other hand, the pharmaceuticals segment declined 9.6 percent with lower output of biological products.

The transport engineering cluster continued its decline, contracting 20.6 percent in March from the same period last year. The general manufacturing cluster fell at a slower pace, at -0.5 percent. 

On a seasonally adjusted month-to-month basis, manufacturing output decreased by 1.7 percent in March. Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output fell 3.2 percent.

Singapore’s economy grew 0.2% in Q1

Singapore’s economy grew by 0.2 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2021.

A turnaround after three quarters of contraction, as the country continued its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted basis, Singapore’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 2 percent between January and March, extending the 3.8 percent growth in the previous quarter, advance estimates by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI).

Source: Channel News Asia

Hong Kong and Singapore to, finally, start air bubble

Hong Kong and Singapore to, finally, start air bubble

Hong Kong and Singapore will announce a start to their highly anticipated two-way air travel bubble as soon as Today.

This according to people familiar with the matter, after multiple delays.

The number of flights will be increased by June 26 if there aren’t further outbreaks in either city, one of the people said.

Hong Kong and Singapore have been working on the creation of a travel corridor for months after plans for a November start were shelved due to a virus flareup in the Chinese territory.

A plan to announce its revival last week was also canceled at the last minute by the Singapore side, a spoke person said.

The Hong Kong government said a discussion with Singapore on the re-launch “is at an advance stage and the government will make announcement as soon as practicable.”

Singapore’s transport ministry referred Bloomberg News to its most recent press release on the matter.

Singapore last week said the two cities had not fixed a date to announce the resumption of the bubble.

But “will do so once we are ready, hopefully very soon.”

While Covid-19 cases in the two places pale in comparison to many countries.

Strict requirements for the bubble to open meant outbreaks that would be regarded as small elsewhere were enough to halt progress.

Virus flare-ups in Hong Kong were the main reason for the months of delays.

Now, after stemming a March outbreak centered on a gym, Hong Kong has been reporting only a handful of new infections a day, or low double-digits at most.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on April 12 that the virus was “obviously contained” in the city and encouraged more people to get vaccinated.

Dangling the prospect of looser rules on social distancing for those who were inoculated.

Source: Channel News Asia

Tourism destination? Singapore’s plans to achieve this

Tourism destination? Singapore’s plans to achieve this

While Singapore will face challenges as it tries to become a sustainable tourism destination, industry players and experts are confident that it can meet such a target.

Mr. Christopher Khoo, the managing director for international tourism consultancy Master Consult Services, said the move would be the “responsible” thing to do.

“I applaud Singapore’s decision to embrace this whole concept of sustainability in tourism, because that’s I think not only the right way to go, it is the responsible thing to do,” he said.

The move is one of the 2030 targets under the green economy – one of the five key pillars in the Singapore Green Plan unveiled earlier this year.

“Ten years from now, we also expect that global tourism will have sprung back into a more vibrant sector.

Tourists will have a greater interest in sustainable travel options, for example, eco-friendly hotels and attractions,” said Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing.

“To prepare ourselves for these opportunities, we are transforming Sentosa into a carbon-neutral destination by 2030. Through such efforts, we will strengthen Singapore as an exemplary sustainable tourism destination,” he said.

Said Mr. Khoo: “On the whole, sustainable tourism is something that is becoming increasingly important. In tourism, it’s not something new … Sustainability has become more and more important, people are recognizing the need to be responsible.”

Plans to become Singapore into a tourism destination

According to the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), there were also 19.1 million visitors to Singapore in 2019, with these visitors spending a total of S$27.1 billion in tourism receipts.

As defined by the World Tourism Organization (UNTWO), sustainable tourism should incorporate three main objectives.

These include making “optimal use” of environmental resources as well as helping to conserve natural heritage and biodiversity. In addition, this form of tourism should also respect the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities, said UNTWO on its website.

It also needs to ensure viable, long-term economic operations, providing socio-economic benefits to all stakeholders that are “fairly distributed”.

Noting that achieving sustainable tourism is a “continuous process”, tourism expert Shirley Tee said that such a destination should also include “curated meaningful experiences” that allow a tourist to understand and be aware of sustainability issues within the community, as well as incorporate activities that promote the destination country’s economy

“Efforts to protect and preserve our economic real estate can also be tied in with our journey towards being a sustainable tourism destination. For instance, ensuring that built-up areas with older buildings and our unique heritage be retained and not discarded due to economic pressure will help us preserve the social and urban fabric of the nation,” added Ms. Tee, who is a senior manager at Nanyang Polytechnic’s (NYP) School of Business Management. 

“This also creates additional sustainable tourism avenues for tourists to visit, and learn more about.”

Source: Channel News Asia

Singapore’s economy rises a 0.2% in the 1Q of 2021

Singapore’s economy rises a 0.2% in the Q1 of 2021

Singapore’s economy grew by 0.2 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2021.

A turnaround after three quarters of contraction, as the country continued its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted basis, Singapore’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 2 percent between January and March, extending the 3.8 percent growth in the previous quarter, advance estimates by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) on Wednesday (Apr 14) showed.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected a decline of 0.2 percent.

Singapore’s economy has been battered by the COVID-19 pandemic. After the first case was reported in Singapore on Jan 23 last year, Singapore posted 0 percent growth in GDP in the first quarter, followed by contractions in the following three quarters.

Last year, Singapore’s economy shrunk by 5.4 percent, the country’s first annual contraction since 2001 and its worst recession since independence.

“The expansion is a strong signal that our economy is slowly but surely recovering from the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 last year,” said Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing in a Facebook post after the data was released.

“While we are cautiously optimistic, many downside risks remain which we will have to pay close attention to,” he added.

Factory activity also helped Singapore’s economy

Singapore’s economy rose on the back of strong manufacturing activity.

The sector grew 7.5 percent year-on-year, supported by output expansions in the electronics, precision engineering, chemicals and biomedical manufacturing clusters.

Construction sector continued to contract, albeit at a slower rate, as activity in the private and public sectors picked up.

The sector shrank by 20.2 percent in the first quarter, compared with the 27.4 percent decline in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Among the services sectors, the wholesale and retail trade as well as transportation and storage trade sectors shrank by 4.1 percent in the first quarter. 

Source: Channel News Asia

Singapore corroborates participation in RCEP

Singapore corroborates participation in RCEP

Singapore ratified the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement on Friday.

Becoming the first participating country to do so, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said in a press release.

The RCEP is the world’s largest free trade agreement, bringing together the 10 ASEAN economies as well as Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.

“Singapore’s expeditious ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement signals Singapore’s strong commitment to strengthening our trade and economic linkages with our partners, for the benefit of our businesses and people,” said Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing.

“We look forward to our fellow RCEP Participating Countries doing likewise, to expedite the entry into force of the agreement.”

Singapore has deposited its instrument of ratification with the Secretary-General of ASEAN, said MTI.

The RCEP was signed by the 15 participating countries in November last year.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said then: “The RCEP is a major step forward for the world, at a time when multilateralism is losing ground and global growth is slowing.”

The RCEP deal establishes a mutually beneficial economic partnership that builds on existing ASEAN agreements with the bloc’s five FTA partners, said MTI on Friday.

Comprising about 30% of global gross domestic product and close to a third of the world’s population.

The deal will complement Singapore’s existing network of FTAs and boost trade and investment flows, the ministry said.

Businesses can expect to benefit from tariff elimination of about 92% on average

As well as streamlined rules of origin for greater flexibility to tap on preferential market access benefits.

The RCEP agreement will enter into force after six ASEAN member states and three ASEAN FTA partners have ratified it.

The participating countries are targeting entry into force on 2022, said MTI.

Source: Channel News Asia .

Unemployment rate dipped in February in Singapore

Unemployment rate dipped in February in Singapore

Singaporeans and permanent residents – unemployment rate in February fell from 4.3 percent to 4.1 percent.

For citizens, the unemployment rate in February fell from 4.5 per cent to 4.3 per cent. 

According to the MOM report, 96,800 residents were unemployed in February, including 85,900 citizens. 

“Although the unemployment rates remain elevated and have not yet returned to pre-COVID levels.

We are seeing good progress with jobs growth,” said Manpower Minister Josephine Teo in a Facebook post on Wednesday. 

She added that the ministry recently made Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI) payouts to 27,000 employers who collectively hired 130,000 locals in the first three months the scheme was implemented. 

The JGI is a wage subsidy scheme that encourages companies to hire more Singaporeans and permanent residents.

It was first announced in August last year and meant to last for five months, before being given an additional S$5.2 billion boost in Budget 2021 and extended until September.

“It is encouraging to see that Government support for employers to expand local hiring has nudged them to consider a more diverse group of job seekers.

This includes those from different sectors, those who were previously not employed, and those aged 40 and above,” Mrs Teo said.

She also warned that with every dip in the unemployment rate, the next drop will “likely be harder to achieve”.

Singapore’s total employment saw its sharpest fall in more than 20 years in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic hit the economy and a “circuit breaker” forced many businesses to suspend operations in April and May.

Resident unemployment rate hit 4.8 per cent in September last year and the overall unemployment rate that month was 3.5 per cent. 

MOM has been releasing monthly unemployment figures since July 2020. Previously, the rates were published quarterly. 

Source: Channel News Asia – Business Singapore

El comercio exterior en Latinoamérica tuvo en 2020 su peor rendimiento desde la Gran Recesión (2008) al desplomarse un 13 %, pero la caída fue 10 puntos menor de lo previsto debido al repunte de la demanda en los principales socios de la región, especialmente China, de acuerdo a un estudio de la Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (Cepal). Así, las tres grandes economías de Latinoamérica, Brasil, México y Argentina, crecerán este año el 3,7 %, el 5 %, y el 5,8 %, respectivamente, según el FMI. Otros países latinoamericanos, como Colombia, Chile y Perú, también avanzarán el 5,1 %, el 6,2 %, y el 8,5 %, respectivamente. Por el contrario, Venezuela sufrirá una contracción económica del 10 %. El FMI advierte en su informe de que las perspectivas a más largo plazo “siguen dependiendo de la trayectoria de la pandemia». “Con algunas excepciones -por ejemplo, Chile, Costa Rica o México-, la mayoría de los países no han obtenido suficientes vacunas para cubrir a sus poblaciones”, destaca la organización multilateral en su informe, que analiza las perspectivas económicas de todo el mundo. Por otro lado, las proyecciones de 2021 para las economías caribeñas, dependientes mayoritariamente del turismo, uno de los sectores más afectados por la pandemia del coronavirus a nivel global, se han revisado a la baja en 1,5 puntos, hasta el 2,4 %. EFE

Retail sales grew 5.2% in February in Singapore

Retail sales grew by 5.2 percent year-on-year in February, a reversal from the 6.1 percent decline recorded in January.

This improvement was mainly associated with Chinese New Year celebrations in February, said the Singapore Department of Statistics (SingStat) on Monday (Apr 5). Chinese New Year was in January last year.

Comparing the performance for the January to February two-month period of the festivities, retail sales fell 1.2 percent in 2021 compared to 2020.

Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales increased 7.7 percent in February, compared to the 8.4 percent decline in January.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, retail sales decreased 1.6 percent in February compared to the previous month. Excluding motor vehicles, seasonally adjusted sales fell 1.2 percent.

The estimated total retail sales value for February was about S$3.3 billion. Online sales made up about 10.1 percent of this, similar to the 10.2 percent recorded in January, said SingStat.

Online sales made up 44.3 percent of total receipts in the computer and telecommunications equipment industry.

26 percent of sales in furniture and household equipment and 10.7 percent of sales in supermarkets and hypermarkets.

Retail sales boosted by Chinese New Year celebrations

While most retail industries recorded improved year-on-year sales in February due to the Chinese New Year boost.

On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, the watches and jewellery, petrol service stations, and computer and telecommunications equipment increased between 2.8 percent and 5.6 percent during this period.

Sales of food and beverage services fell 3.5 percent in February on a year-on-year basis, a smaller contraction compared to the 24.6 percent decline in January 2021.

This was again mainly attributed to Chinese New Year celebrations, SingStat said.

Food and beverage sales remained weak due to capacity constraints arising from safe distancing measures, SingStat added.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, sales of food and beverage services declined 1.1 percent in February over the previous month.

The total sales value of food and beverage services in February was estimated at S$699 million.

Of this, online sales made up about 22.2 percent, slightly higher than 22.1 percent in January.

Source: Channel News Asia

SIPMM release figures showing factory activity rising

SIPMM release figures showing factory activity rising

Singapore’s factory activity expanded for the ninth consecutive month, data from the Singapore Institute of Purchasing & Materials Management (SIPMM) showed. 

The Purchasing Managers’ Index posted an increase of 0.3 points from the previous month to post a faster rate of expansion at 50.8. 

This is the highest reading recorded since March 2019 when the PMI also posted a reading of 50.8. 

A PMI reading above 50 indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding, while a figure below that threshold points to contraction. 

March’s reading was attributed to higher expansion rates in the indexes of new orders, new exports, inventory, employment and a slower expansion for the factory output index, said SIPMM.

Higher rates of expansion were recorded for the indexes of imports, input prices and order backlog. A lower rate of expansion was recorded for the finished goods stock index. 

The employment index reverted to a marginal expansion after recording contractions for 13 consecutive months. 

“Just when manufacturers were looking to a brighter outlook at the start of the year, the supply chain environment is again faced with supply disruptions that were caused by the Suez Canal blockage,” said Ms Poh, vice president of industry engagement and development at SIPMM.

Ms Poh added that although the blockage has been cleared, manufacturers expect the impact to last for several months. A

Other figures of the SIPMM

The Electronics Sector PMI posted a further dip of 0.2 points from the previous month to record a slower expansion at 50.6. 

This is the eighth month of expansion for the electronics sector, said SIPMM. 

The latest electronics sector reading was attributed to slower expansion rates for the indexes of new orders, new exports, factory output, inventory and employment. 

However, higher expansion rates were recorded for the electronics sector in the indexes of finished goods stock, imports, input prices and order backlog. 

Source: Channel News Asia