Singapore (VNA) Singapore's manufacturing output in March grew 16.5 percent over the same month last year, after contacting for four months, thanks to a surge in biomedical manufacturing, said the country’s Economic Development Board (EDB) on April 24.

Excluding biomedical manufacturing, however, factory output was unchanged, meaning the industry had not been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak last month.

The EDB cautioned that a more profound impact is likely to be seen from April onwards due to the implementation of the circuit breaker measures.

On a month-on-month basis, output increased 21.7 percent in March. Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output grew 2.5 percent, data showed.

The biomedical manufacturing posted the largest increase at 91.4 percent last month, compared to the same period in 2019.

Pharmaceuticals output increased 126.6 percent on the back of higher production of active pharmaceutical ingredients and biological products, while the medical technology segment rose 6.3 percent with higher export demand for medical devices.

Precision engineering also expanded at 21.2 percent in March compared to a year ago.

The cluster’s growth was largely attributed to the machinery and systems segment which grew 28.7 percent on account of higher production of semiconductor equipment, said EDB.

Transport engineering output rose by 7.6 percent, supported by higher levels of repair and maintenance activities from commercial airlines.

The marine and offshore engineering segment however fell 0.7 percent due to lower level of work done in offshore projects.

Chemicals output grew 0.8 percent year-on-year in March on the back of higher petroleum refining throughput.

Electronics output decreased 9.2 percent on a year-to-year-basis, with all segments within the cluster recording declines.

General manufacturing output dropped 7.9 percent with all segments recording output declines, including the miscellaneous industries and printing, as well as food, beverage and tobacco segments./.