Singapore 2017 GDP grows 3.5% after Q4 slowdown: MTI flash estimates

Singapore 2017 GDP grows 3.5% after Q4 slowdown: MTI flash estimates

A view of the financial district skyline in Singapore. (Photo: AFP)
SINGAPORE: The Singapore economy grew 3.5 per cent in 2017 though the manufacturing-led growth spurt lost some steam in the final three months of the year, according to advance estimates released by the Ministry of Trade and Industry on Tuesday (Jan 2). The full-year gross domestic product (GDP) hits the upper limit of the Government’s revised growth forecast range of 3.0 to 3.5 per cent, and shows the economy picking up pace from 2 per cent growth in 2016. The flash estimates released on Tuesday also showed the trade-reliant economy expanded 3.1 per cent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, slowing down from 5.4 per cent in the previous quarter but beating expectations of 2.7 per cent in a Reuters poll. On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted basis, GDP growth for the October to December period also expanded at a slower pace of 2.8 per cent, compared to the 9.4 per cent growth in the preceding quarter. The median forecast of analysts surveyed by Reuters was 2.9 per cent.Singapore's trade-reliant economy has staged a remarkable turnaround this year, thanks to improving global demand for electronics products. With the manufacturing sector in the driving seat, the economy clocked a faster-than-expected growth of 5.2 per cent in the third quarter, marking its quickest year-on-year expansion in nearly four years. 
But some analysts have said that manufacturing could see a moderation from there due to a comparison against a high base recorded since the fourth quarter of 2016 – the quarter which the manufacturing sector began its turnaround due to improving global demand.In his New Year message on Sunday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the economy was ending 2017 stronger than it started, with economic growth for the year at 3.5 per cent – more than double the Government’s initial forecast.Wages have also gone up across the board, especially for low- and middle-income earners, he said.“We have benefitted from the global economic upswing. But more fundamentally, our productivity has grown,” he said. “Singaporeans are upgrading and learning new skills, while businesses are innovating and adopting new technology. That is how we will stay competitive and ready for the future.” 
For 2018, MTI said last month that it expects the Singapore economy to grow by 1.5 to 3.5 per cent. Economists told Channel NewsAsia that while growth for the year ahead may moderate from 2017, the economy could see more broad-based growth with the services sector possibly taking over the driving seat.
Source: CNA/sk
 Source : http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/singapore-2017-gdp-grows-3-5-after-q4-slowdown-mti-flash-9824848