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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   18 November 2010

Singapore GDP set to grow 15 percent

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THE Singapore economy is expected to grow by around 15 percent this year and by 4 to 6 percent in 2011, the Ministry of Trade and Industry announced on Thursday morning.

Preliminary estimates show that the Singapore economy grew by 10.6 percent in the third quarter, from a year ago, moderating from the record expansion of 19.5 per- cent in the second quarter. Growth momentum, as measured on a seasonally adjusted annualised quarter-on-quarter basis, fell sharply by 18.7 percent, a reversal from the growth of 27.3 per- cent in the preceding quarter. The median forecast in a survey of 13 economists was for an 11 percent gain.

The manufacturing sector expanded by 14.3 percent in the third quarter, from a year earlier, slowing from a strong growth of 46.1 percent in the previous quarter. The sector contracted by an annualised rate of 53.6 percent.

This reflected a large contraction in output in the biomedical manufacturing cluster due to a switch in the value-mix of products and scheduled plant maintenance shut-downs.

'Manufacturing may face intense hollowing-out pressures in 2011, given the twin policies of a stronger Singapore dollar and tight foreign worker policy,' Chua Hak Bin, a director of global research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Singapore, told Bloomberg news.

The government raised the levies for companies to hire overseas workers this year in a drive to improve productivity.

The construction sector gained 7.1 percent in the third quarter, from a year ago, while services grew 10.1 percent.

The financial services sector expanded by 9.3 percent on a year-on-year basis in the third quarte, largely driven by financial intermediation. Business services grew by 5.4 per cent, mainly on the back of real estate leasing activities. These two sectors also saw continued positive growth momentum, of 6.4 percent and 2.3 percent respectively, in the third quarter.

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