Home » Breaking News, Customs & Trade » Singapore sidesteps recession with Q4 growth

The Singapore economy averted a technical recession by posting a higher-than-expected growth in the fourth quarter of 2012, advance estimates from the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) showed.

On the back of a robust services sector, the economy grew by a modest 1.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 from a flat growth in the same quarter last year. And compared to the third quarter, the economy grew by 1.8 percent, an upturn from the 6.3 percent contraction seen in July-September.

For the entire 2012, the economy is estimated to grow by 1.2 percent, lower than MTI’s growth forecast of around 1.5 percent as a weak manufacturing sector continued to burden the economy.

Year-over-year, the manufacturing sector contracted by 1.5 percent in the fourth quarter, following the 1.6 percent decline in the fourth quarter of 2011. It also contracted by 10.8 percent compared to the third quarter decline of 9.9 percent, due largely to a reduced output by the electronics cluster.

The construction sector grew by 5.9 percent on a year-on-year basis, moderating from the 7.7 percent growth of a year ago. The sector contracted by 8.9 percent from the third quarter, mainly due to the decline in private-sector building activities.

The services industry grew by 1.5 percent on a year-on-year basis, up from a growth of 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011. On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the services group grew by 7 percent, reversing the 3.9 percent contraction of the preceding quarter. This was largely due to the rebound in the wholesale and retail trade, finance and insurance sectors, as well as other services industries, the MTI said in a January 2 press release.

Although Singapore has avoided a technical recession, which requires two successive quarters of contraction, it is looking at a gloomy outlook for 2013, based on predictions of a continued poor showing by the manufacturing sector.

 

Photo: maltman

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