ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Singapore manufacturing is up
Singapore's manufacturing output surged to a record high in May, rising by 58.6 percent more than last year, according to data from the Economic Development Board and reported by Channnel New Asia.
The monthly growth is higher than the 51 percent increase recorded in April and the sixth consecutive increase. The figure also beat analyst expectations of an increase of 32.1 percent.
The strong performance is expected to lift the country's Gross Domestic Product growth in the second quarter to between 16 percent and 20 percent on-year - up from the 15.5 percent seen in the first quarter.
This, economists added, could encourage the government to upgrade Singapore's 2010 GDP growth outlook from the current 7-9 percent growth forecast.
The increase in May's output was led by a 117 percent growth in the biomedical cluster, which saw pharmaceuticals surge 122 percent on-year. Underlying growth in other segments also remained strong.
CIMB's regional economist, Song Seng Wun, said: "Even if we take out the biomedical cluster, other clusters have done well. The tech sector on its own accounted for 15 points of the overall growth of 60 percent, or a quarter of the growth came from the tech (sector)."
The good performance fuelled optimism among economists, and they expect the government to revise upwards its GDP forecast for 2010.
For the second quarter, experts said the Singapore's economy could grow by between 16 and 20 percent on-year.
Irvin Seah, an economist at DBS Group Research, said: "At 16 percent, we are also factoring in a slower growth momentum in the services sector, bearing in mind that the Eurozone debt crisis hit the financial services sector pretty badly in the second quarter of the year."
Economists added that the withdrawal of monetary stimulus in Asia and softening global demand could also affect manufacturing output.
But factoring all that, experts are still holding out for a full-year GDP growth of between 10 and 12 percent for Singapore.
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