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Singapore’s December Industrial Production Falls on Electronics

Singapore’s industrial production fell for the fourth time in five months in December as manufacturers produced fewer electronics items.

Manufacturing declined 0.6 percent from a year earlier after a revised 2.9 percent increase in November, the Economic Development Board said in a report today. The median of 18 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a 4.8 percent drop. For the whole year, output gained 0.1 percent.

The export-dependent nation is struggling to cope with faltering demand for its goods even as the global economy shows signs of improvement. While data indicates recoveries in the U.S., China and Europe are gaining traction, Singapore’s overseas shipments declined the most in 14 months in December.

Singapore’s industrial production outlook is “rather bleak,” Wai Ho Leong, a Singapore-based economist at Barclays Plc, said before the report. The optimism in Europe, China and the U.S. is “just not feeding through into our numbers and is feeding through instead into North Asia,” he said.

The Singapore dollar fell 0.2 percent to S$1.2312 against its U.S. counterpart at 12:08 p.m. local time.

Output increased a seasonally adjusted 5.4 percent from the previous month, when it rose a revised 1.8 percent.

Electronics production declined 16.9 percent from a year earlier in December, while pharmaceutical output gained 21 percent. Chemicals gained 4.4 percent, the report showed.

Production in the fourth quarter fell 1.1 percent, less than the government’s Jan. 2 preliminary estimate of a 1.5 percent contraction.

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