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Singapore’s manufacturing output beats expectations in April on higher production of electronics

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Nicky Loh | Getty Images

Singapore's manufacturing output rose 6.7 percent year-on-year in April — beating a Reuters forecast of 6.4 percent, data released by the Economic Development Board on Friday showed.

The increase was helped by a 48 percent jump in production of electronics, a sector that accounts for more than a quarter of Singapore's overall manufacturing output. In particular, semiconductors output soared 69.1 percent year-on-year in April.

But the better-than-expected growth in April was slower than March's 11 percent rise, with economists saying that manufacturing activity may have moderated from the peak in the first quarter.

"Our concern is exacerbated by the lack of breadth within the electronics cluster. Semiconductor output rose 50.3 percent year-on-year in Q1, while other areas of electronics manufacturing saw only modest increases or even declines in production," Standard Chartered economists wrote in a Thursday note previewing the latest data release.

Singapore on Thursday reported a 2.7 percent year-on-year increase in first quarter gross domestic product. The Southeast Asian city state also affirmed its 2017 growth forecast of between 1 and 3 percent, though it warned that rising anti-globalization sentiment and China could pose downside risks.

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