Singapore GDP growth slows in Q4

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By 2018-01-03

Singapore's economic growth eased in the fourth quarter on weaker manufacturing, the advance estimate from the Ministry of Trade and Industry showed Tuesday. Gross domestic product expanded 3.1 per cent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2017, following the 5.4 per cent growth seen in the previous quarter. Similarly, on a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualized basis, the economy expanded at a slower pace of 2.8 per cent after logging 9.4 per cent expansion.

The slowdown was largely caused by the deceleration in the manufacturing sector and continuing contraction in construction.

Manufacturing growth eased sharply to 6.2 per cent on a yearly basis from 19.2 per cent in the third quarter. Services producing industries grew 3 per cent, which was also weaker than the 3.2 per cent rise seen a quarter ago. At the same time, construction shrank 8.5 per cent versus a 7.7 per cent drop in the pre- ceding period. For the whole of 2017, the city-state economy grew 3.5 per cent, which was in line with the MTI's earlier growth forecast of '3.0 to 3.5 per cent'.

Krystal Tan, an economist at Capital Economics, said the upshot is that Singapore's economy should remain in good health in 2018, even though growth is likely to slow. The economist expects the impact of a slowdown in China to be cushioned by continued health in the US and Europe. However, monetary and

fiscal conditions are likely to turn less supportive, Tan added. In the New Year message, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the nation made steady progress on long-term goals. Lee said the external environment will remain uncertain in 2018. The Korean Peninsula is a source of growing tension and anxiety.

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