Singapore Manufacturing Recovery Stumbles

SINGAPORE (AP) -- Singapore's manufacturing fell in June after rising the previous two months, suggesting the city-state faces a hard slog as it emerges from recession.

Industrial production fell 9.3 percent from a year earlier and dropped a seasonally adjusted 9.2 percent from May, the Trade and Industry Ministry said Friday. Manufacturing rose in May and April after falling the previous six months.

Production of electronics, which account for about a quarter of Singapore's industrial production, fell 20 percent in June while chemicals fell 8.9 percent. Pharmaceuticals, which are 20 percent of manufacturing, rose 14 percent.

"You don’t expect the recovery to be a smooth path, in fact it is more likely to be a bumpy ride," said Irvin Seah, an economist with DBS bank in Singapore.

The weak manufacturing for June suggests the government will likely revise down second quarter gross domestic product, which according to preliminary figures grew an annualized, seasonally adjusted 20 percent. The growth figure, announced earlier this month, was calculated largely from data from April and May.

GDP had contracted the previous four quarters.

The government said last week that exports, which were equal to about 60 percent of the economy last year, fell 11 percent in June from a year earlier and dropped a seasonally adjusted 5.2 percent from May.

Private residential property prices, meanwhile, fell 4.7 percent in the second quarter from the previous quarter, a smaller decline than the 5.9 percent drop initially reported earlier this month, the Urban Redevelopment Authority said Friday.

Prices fell 14 percent in the first quarter, and have plunged 25 percent since the second quarter of 2008.

Private property prices had soared almost 50 percent during 2006 and 2007.

Prices of government-built housing, where more than 70 percent of Singaporeans live, rose 1.4 percent in the second quarter, making up for a 0.8 percent drop in the first quarter, the authority said.

Associated Press Writer Bryna Djuhar in Singapore contributed to this report.

More in Supply Chain