Singapore’s economy grows 2 pct in 2016 on stronger Q4

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The Singapore economy grew 2.9 percent on a year-on-year basis in the fourth quarter of 2016, driving 2.0 percent GDP growth for the whole year, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said on Friday.

The 2.9 percent growth in the fourth quarter last year was an acceleration from the 1.2 percent growth in the previous quarter, said the ministry.

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualized basis, the economy expanded by 12.3 percent, a turnaround from the 0.4 percent decline in the previous quarter.

The expansion was mainly due to a healthy growth in the manufacturing sector, which grew by 11.5 percent in the fourth quarter year-on-year, a surge from the 1.8 percent growth in the preceding quarter.

The ministry said the strong performance of the sector was primarily due to robust growth in the electronics and biomedical manufacturing clusters. On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualized basis, the manufacturing sector rebounded strongly from the 5.0 percent decline in the third quarter to post growth of 39.8 percent in the fourth quarter.

The transportation and storage sector too came in at 5.4 percent year-on-year, higher than the 0.7 percent in the previous quarter.

Growth in the transportation and storage sector was largely driven by the water transport and storage as well as other support services segments, said the ministry. On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualized basis, the sector grew by 12.4 percent, reversing the 0.6 percent decline in the previous quarter.

Meanwhile, growth in the “other services industries” improved to 3.9 percent, from 3.6 percent in the preceding quarter, largely driven by the education, health and social services segment.

On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the sector grew at a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 1.3 percent, moderating from the 5.7 percent growth in the previous quarter.

For the whole year of 2016, the Singapore GDP maintained at 2.0 percent growth, similar to that in 2015.

The manufacturing sector expanded by 3.6 percent, a reversal from a 5.1 percent decline in 2015. While the transport engineering and general manufacturing clusters continued to contract, growth in the sector was driven primarily by the electronics and biomedical manufacturing clusters.

The services producing industries rose 1.0 percent in 2016, easing from the 3.2 percent growth in 2015, supported mainly by the “other services industries” and the transportation and storage sector, which expanded by 3.1 percent and 2.3 percent respectively.

The construction sector increased marginally by 0.2 percent, moderating from the 3.9 percent growth in 2015 as private sector construction works remained sluggish.

Looking ahead, the ministry predicted the global economy to pick up slightly in 2017 as the situations in the United States and key ASEAN countries improve.

However, it cautioned the presence of political risks in Europe as economic uncertainties may arise with the upcoming elections in key Euro zone economies.

There are also signs of a rise in anti-globalization sentiments and protectionist approaches could generate knock-on effects on economic growth worldwide.

The ministry has maintained its GDP growth forecast for 2017 at 1.0 to 3.0 percent. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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