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Singapore faces hard slog after output tumbles

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

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

Production of electronics, which account for about a quarter of Singapore's industrial output, fell 20 percent in June while chemicals shed 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.

The 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.


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