After Panasonic announces cull, Singapore factory growth dips

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Singapore manufacturing growth fell back in August, according to official data released on Friday, a day after electronics giant Panasonic said it would lay off 700 workers in the city-state.

Year-on-year, manufacturing output in South-East Asia’s wealthiest nation, measured per capita, dipped from over 16 per cent in July to 11.2 per cent last month, according to the Economic Development Board (EDB).

Production of semiconductors, which the EDB said was “supported by demand from 5G markets,” helped keep output on an upward curve, albeit down slightly on July.

Car factories run by Ford, Toyota and Volkswagen have announced production cuts in recent weeks stemming from shortages of chips and semiconductors arising from coronavirus restrictions in Malaysia and Vietnam.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Friday he was “saddened” to hear about Panasonic’s decision to close a refrigerator factory, though welcomed news that the Japanese manufacturer would retain its research and development operations in the city-state, where it has been doing business since 1972.

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