ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Singapore’s economy grew 2.8 per cent in Q3
SINGAPORE: The Republic’s economy expanded by 2.8 per cent in the third quarter of this year from a year ago, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said on Tuesday (Nov 25).
The growth during the July to September period was up from the previous quarter’s 2.3 per cent growth, beating MTI’s advance estimate of 2.4 per cent and in line with analysts’ expectations. Growth was supported by the finance and insurance, and business services sectors, the ministry said.
On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted basis, the economy expanded 3.1 per cent, a reversal from the 0.3 per cent decline in the previous quarter.
MTI said it expects the economy to grow between 2 and 4 per cent in 2015. For 2014, it has also narrowed the growth forecast to around 3 per cent, from the earlier forecast of 2.5 to 3.5 per cent.
GROWTH IN MOST SECTORS
The manufacturing sector expanded by 1.9 per cent during the third quarter, a slight improvement from the 1.5 per cent in the preceding quarter, with growth supported primarily by the biomedical manufacturing and chemicals clusters.
The construction sector grew by 1.7 per cent on a year-on-year basis, a sharp slowdown from the 3.7 per cent growth in the previous quarter. The slowdown was mainly due to weaker private sector construction activities, MTI said.
The wholesale and retail trade sector grew by 2 per cent, faster than the 1.8 per cent growth in the preceding quarter. The slight pickup in growth was due to a smaller drag from the retail trade segment, even as the wholesale trade segment grew at a similar pace as in the previous quarter.
The transportation and storage sector expanded by 0.1 per cent, down from the 2.1 per cent growth in the second quarter, mainly due to the water and air transport segments.
Growth in the finance and insurance sector surged to 10.5 per cent year-on-year, from 5.5 per cent in the previous quarter, with growth supported primarily by the financial intermediation and insurance segments. The business services sector expanded at a faster pace of 3.4 per cent year-on-year, compared with 2.4 per cent in the second quarter.
Growth in the accommodation and food services sector improved slightly to 0.9 per cent from 0.4 per cent in the previous quarter. On the other hand, growth in the other services industries slowed to 1.6 per cent from 2.2 per cent in the second quarter, pulled down by the weak performance in the arts, entertainment and recreation segment.
GROWTH OUTLOOK ‘MODEST’
For the rest of 2014, MTI said growth is expected to ease slightly, in line with a projected slowdown in the global economy. It added that export-oriented sectors like manufacturing and transportation and storage are likely to slow, while domestically-oriented sectors like business services are likely to remain resilient.
For 2015, global growth is expected to pick up modestly, with the pace of recovery likely to remain uneven across the economies, MTI said. Domestically, the labour market is expected to remain tight, with low unemployment and rising vacancy rates.
Against the global and domestic backdrop, the ministry said the growth outlook for Singapore remains modest.
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