Manufacturing output shrank 1.4 per cent in June, as the global slowing of demand for electronics began to take its toll on a widening range of other products. June's slump into negative territory compared sharply with the growth of 9.4 per cent in May and 11.9 per cent in April, although the first six months of the year are still showing a 10 per cent year on year gain over 1995. The rapid rolling off in manufacturing performance supports the growing number of downgrades in forecasts for Singapore's economic performance this year. Some analysts warn the country is facing its weakest growth since 1984. According to some forecasts, Singapore's gross domestic product, which last year grew 8.8 per cent, and accelerated to 10.7 per cent in the first quarter, could be down to about 6 per cent in the third quarter, having dropped to 8.9 per cent for the first half. In June, growth in output from electronics manufacturers slumped to 2.2 per cent compared to the same month last year. In the previous month, output was running at close to 16 per cent, and was at a still robust 19.7 per cent in April. In the first five months, the growth from this sector had averaged 20.7 per cent. While the cumulative total for the electronic sector in the first six months is still running almost 17 per cent over the same period last year, the sharp drop shown in the latest figures points to sluggish months ahead before industry estimates of a recovery are borne out. Major casualties of the decline in demand for electronics in June were producers of personal computers, consumer electronics, semiconductors and telecommunications equipment. There were still some pockets of steady growth, with peripherals such as disk drives and printers still outperforming the same month last year. The massive contribution made to the economy by electronics, which account for 45 per cent of manufacturing output and about 66 per cent of exports, means any downturn in this sector has an inevitable effect. This showed sharply last month. Output of fabricated metal and plastic products, used by electronic manufacturers, slumped by 6.2 per cent and 11.5 per cent year on year in June. Both are now barely showing positive growth in the first six months. Slowing export demand in the electrical goods sector triggered a 9.1 per cent decline in June.