* March industrial output +10.2 pct y/y, +5.0 pct m/m
* Electronics manufacturing output continues to soar
* Upward revision in first quarter GDP likely, analysts say
By Fathin Ungku
SINGAPORE, April 26 Singapore's industrial
production rose faster than expected in March from a year
earlier, thanks to a continued surge in the electronics sector,
data showed on Wednesday, pointing to a possible upward revision
in the city-state's first quarter GDP.
Manufacturing output in March rose 10.2 percent from a year
earlier, data from the Singapore Economic Development Board
showed, exceeding the median forecast in a Reuters survey of a
7.1 percent expansion on-year.
Industrial production on a month-on-month and seasonally
adjusted basis also rose more than expected at 5.0 percent in
March. The median forecast was for a rise of 0.9 percent.
"I'm cautiously optimistic... we are expecting the first
half to look quite good. On the longer side of things, there
will be some support as some (electronics) manufacturers will
have new models, but it may not happen in a big way," said UOB
economist Alvin Liew.
The electronics sector continued to shine in March, growing
at 37.7 percent from the previous year. This is brought about by
growing demand for the city-state's tech products, analysts say,
particularly in semiconductors, which output grew by more than
This comes after industrial output rose at the same rate in
February, at a revised 10.2 percent on-year. On a month-on-month
seasonally adjusted basis, however, industrial output contracted
a revised 5.8 percent.
Despite strong electronics exports, some analysts believe
industrial production will begin to moderate in coming months
because of lower regional demand.
Singapore has been among a number of export-reliant Asian
economies to benefit from a general uptick in global demand in
recent months, with the city-state enjoying strong sales of its
tech products but analysts say that the tech production cycle is
starting to mature.
The economy has struggled over the past two years. In the
first quarter of this year, gross domestic product shrank 1.9
percent from the previous three months and grew 2.5 percent from
a year earlier.
However, March's manufacturing output numbers point to an
upward revision in first quarter GDP, analysts say.
"It won't go beyond 3 percent but if other sectors remain
stable, we are looking at a revision of around 2.7 percent year
on year", Liew said.
The country's central bank has held its policy steady and
warned of risks to the global outlook, even with recent
improvements in exports and broad economic growth momentum.
(Reporting by Fathin Ungku; Editing by Sam Holmes)