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Singapore economy grew 4.9% on-year in Q1: MTI

Singapore's GDP growth forecast for 2014 will remain at 2 to 4 per cent, after the economy grew 4.9 per cent on a year-on-year basis in the first quarter.

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Trade and Industry announced today (May 20) that it has maintained its gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast for 2014 at 2 to 4 per cent, after the Singapore economy grew by 4.9 per cent on a year-on-year basis in the first quarter.

The expansion in GDP during the January-March period was lower than the government's initial estimate of 5.1 per cent, partly due to the change in base year from 2005 to 2010.

Using 2010 as the base year, GDP growth in 2013 came in at 3.9 per cent instead of the previously announced 4.1 per cent.

The median estimate of economists polled by Reuters was for an expansion of 5.5 per cent in the first three months of 2014.

The manufacturing sector grew by 9.8 per cent on a year-on-year basis during the first quarter – faster than the 7 per cent expansion in the previous quarter. This was largely driven by a sharp rebound in the biomedical manufacturing cluster, as well as stronger growth in the chemicals and transport engineering clusters, the ministry said.

Construction grew by 6.7 per cent year-on-year, slower than the 7.3 per cent growth in the preceding quarter, while finance and insurance grew by 5.4 per cent, slower than the 10.5 per cent growth in the previous quarter.

Growth in the accommodation and food services sector slowed to 0.9 per cent on a year-on-year basis from 3.4 per cent in the previous quarter, due to weaker expansion in the accommodation segment.

On a quarter-on-quarter, seasonally-adjusted and annualised basis, Singapore's economy grew by 2.3 per cent during the first quarter, down from 6.1 per cent in the fourth quarter.

GDP is the broadest measure of economic activity in a country. Singapore releases advance GDP estimates shortly after the end of each quarter, and follows up with a detailed survey of the economy about a month after the initial report.

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