Singapore November Industrial Output Recovers on Pharmaceuticals

Singapore November Industrial Output Recovers on Pharmaceuticals
A shopper looks at a package of medicine in the pharmaceutical section of a department store in Singapore. Photographer: Munshi Ahmed/Bloomberg

Dec. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Singapore’s industrial production rose for the first time in four months in November as manufacturers produced more pharmaceuticals, countering a slump in electronics.

Manufacturing gained 3.1 percent from a year earlier after a revised 5.1 percent drop in October, the Economic Development Board said in a report today. The median of 13 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a 4.8 percent increase.

Data from the U.S. and China have shown signs of recovery in the world’s largest economies, which may boost demand for Singapore’s goods. The Southeast Asian nation this month concluded negotiations on a free-trade agreement with the European Union, deepening access to overseas markets.

“Demand from the U.S., China and Europe will improve, but at the earliest in the second half of 2013,” Michael Wan, a Singapore-based analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG, said before the report. “There are still many structural issues to be resolved, for instance, the fiscal cliff in the U.S.,” he said, referring to a blend of tax increases and spending cuts that will take effect Jan. 1 if lawmakers don’t forge a budget deal.

The Singapore dollar fell 0.2 percent to S$1.2237 against its U.S. counterpart at 12:25 p.m. local time.

Output increased a seasonally adjusted 1.9 percent from the previous month, when it rose a revised 1.2 percent.

Electronics production declined 2.3 percent from a year earlier in November, while pharmaceutical output gained 13.2 percent. Chemicals climbed 5.2 percent, the report showed.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sharon Chen in Singapore at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Phang at