SINGAPORE (AP) - Singapore's manufacturing output rose four percent in May, led by growth in pharmaceutical and offshore engineering output that compensated for lingering weakness in the electronics industry, the government said Tuesday.
The gain, which beat expectations, follows an 8.5 percent rise the previous month, the Economic Development Board, the city-state's main trade promotion agency, said in a statement.
Much of the month's overall manufacturing expansion was driven by biomedical manufacturing, which surged 76.2 percent on year after a 98.2 percent rise in April.
The sector, which is volatile due to shifts in product lineup, was led by new drug ingredients and strong orders for medical devices from the U.S., Europe, and Japan. Pharmaceuticals have been a key growth driver in the first half and will be a critical pillar for the rest of the year.
The transport engineering sector grew 39.5 percent in May after a 24.1 percent rise in April, driven by healthy demand for ship conversions and offshore oil rigs.
Manufacturing output rose 17.7 percent from a year earlier after expanding 19.6 percent in April. The poll forecast an 11.2 percent expansion.