Singapore’s manufacturing output fell by 3.4 per cent on-year in March, according to the Economic Development Board (EDB).
The decline follows a 12.1 per cent increase in February.
Economists had expected a larger drop of about 6 per cent for March due to the high base effect from the previous year.
Excluding biomedical manufacturing, EDB said output contracted at a similar rate of 3.4 per cent.
Overall, manufacturing output fell 1.0 per cent in the first quarter of 2012, compared to Q1 2011.
Compared to last year, EDB said the transport engineering and general manufacturing clusters grew by 20.8 per cent and 4.1 per cent respectively in March 2012.
Meanwhile, precision engineering, biomedical, chemicals and electronics clusters all contracted in March.
Output of the biomedical manufacturing cluster fell 3.3 per cent on-year and the electronic cluster was 15.9 per cent lower in March.
On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, EDB said manufacturing output grew 2.7 per cent in March 2012.
Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output increased 2.9 per cent.