Positive Charge For Electronics Industry
Singapore’s semiconductor industry has been stuck in a rut over the past few years but prospects are finally looking up. Companies say they expect demand to improve this year, driven mainly by trends such as the release of new consumer electronic devices and the growing popularity of smart cars.
But even as companies look forward to a stronger year, rising operating costs and mounting international competition remain key concerns and they will have to fight to keep ahead. Electronics – which makes up a third of Singapore’s manufacturing output – has been hit by a protracted cyclical downturn in the country’s trade-dependent economy amid lacklustre global growth. But the sector has been showing signs of bottoming out and appears to be staging a gradual recovery.
Manufacturing output grew 11.9 per cent in November last year, compared with the same month in 2015, lifted by a 24.2 per cent surge in electronics. In the first 11 months of last year, electronics output expanded 12.8 per cent, compared with the same period a year earlier. This growth was driven largely by the semiconductor segment, which saw steady year-on-year expansion every month from March to November. Semiconductors make up about 70 per cent of electronics manufacturing output.