June 26, 2018 / 5:43 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Singapore May factory output accelerates 11.1 pct y/y

(Adds economist comment, details)

SINGAPORE, June 26 (Reuters) - Singapore’s industrial production in May accelerated 11.1 percent from a year ago, bolstered by higher output in pharmaceutical and electronics sectors, data showed on Tuesday.

The latest month’s manufacturing output was higher than April’s 9.1 percent year-on-year increase, data from the Singapore Economic Development Board showed.

“It was a stronger set of numbers than the market had been anticipating,” said Rob Carnell, ING’s head of research Asia-Pacific.

“We saw another strong contribution from pharmaceuticals, which has been a weak link in production at times. On the electronics side, the jury is still out on where that is headed with a broader inventory cycle going on across Asia,” he said.

On a month-on-month and seasonally adjusted basis, industrial production expanded 0.4 percent in May, compared with a revised 0.5 percent increase in the previous month.

Manufacturing in pharmaceuticals sector surged 19.2 percent during the month, compared with a 10.7 percent rise in April.

Electronic output rose 17.1 percent year-on-year in May, faster than the 11 percent increase in the previous month.

The electronics sector was the lynch-pin of Singapore’s better-than-expected economic growth last year, but exports have declined for six consecutive months, raising questions about overall demand in the sector. (Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan and John Geddie; Editing by Sunil Nair and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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