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Singapore factories post biggest output drop on record as virus bites

Trucks carry sand at land reclamation area overlooking Singapore's Tuas industrial area in the Country Gardens' Forest City development in Johor Bahru

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore's industrial output fell at a record pace in February from the previous month, data showed on Thursday, well below economists' already bearish predictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

On a month-on-month and seasonally adjusted basis, industrial production fell 22.3% in February, according to data from the Singapore Economic Development Board.

That was the biggest contraction in official records going back to 1983, and far more than the median forecast in a Reuters poll for an 11.5% fall.

Manufacturing output fell 1.1% on-year, slightly better than the forecast drop of 2.0% with a jump in pharmaceutical output helping to offset declines in the electronics segment.

(Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan and John Geddie in Singapore; Editing by Tom Hogue)