SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore's industrial output unexpectedly rose in January and soared past analysts' estimates, underpinned by a spike in pharmaceutical production, data showed on Wednesday.
Manufacturing output in January rose 3.4% on-year, data from the Singapore Economic Development Board showed, compared with a downwardly revised 3.7% decline in December. The median forecast in a Reuters poll had predicted a drop of 5.3%.
On a month-on-month and seasonally adjusted basis, industrial production rose 18.2% in January, after an upward revision to a 6.3% increase for the previous month. The median forecast was for a 0.6% increase.
Pharmaceutical production surged 59.4% in January from a year earlier, while manufacturing in the electronics sector dropped 7.2%.
Output in pharmaceuticals is inherently volatile because production happens in batches, which can take anywhere from a few days to weeks to make.
(Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan in Singapore, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)