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Singapore economy grew 0.1% in Q1, slowing from 2.1% in previous quarter: MTI advance estimates

Singapore economy grew 0.1% in Q1, slowing from 2.1% in previous quarter: MTI advance estimates

A view of Singapore's central business district and the Merlion on Nov 16, 2022. (File photo: CNA/Hanidah Amin)

SINGAPORE: The Singapore economy grew 0.1 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2023, slowing from 2.1 per cent growth in the previous quarter, according to official estimates released on Friday (Apr 14).

The figure is lower than the 0.6 per cent expected by 19 economists in a Reuters poll.

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted basis, Singapore’s gross domestic product contracted by 0.7 per cent after expanding marginally by 0.1 per cent in the previous quarter, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said.

The advance GDP estimates are computed largely from data gathered in the first two months of the quarter.

They are intended as an early indication of GDP growth in the quarter and are subject to revision when more comprehensive data become available.

The government had projected GDP growth of 0.5 to 2.5 per cent for this year. While the growth outlook for aviation and tourism-related sectors has improved, externally oriented sectors remain weak given the broader slowdown in the global economy, it said.

The preliminary GDP estimates for the first quarter of this year will be released by MTI in May.

MANUFACTURING SECTOR SEES FURTHER CONTRACTION

The manufacturing sector contracted by 6.0 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2023, worsening from the 2.6 per cent contraction in the previous quarter. 

The weak performance of the sector was due to output contractions across all the manufacturing clusters, except for the transport engineering cluster.

The construction sector grew by 8.5 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter, extending the 10.0 per cent growth in the previous quarter.

Growth during the quarter was supported by expansions in both public and private sector construction output.

The value-added of the sector remained 21.3 per cent below its pre-pandemic levels.

Among the services sectors, the wholesale and retail trade and transportation and storage sectors collectively contracted by 1.1 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter, a reversal from the 2.4 per cent growth in the previous quarter.

Within the group, the wholesale trade sector shrank in tandem with a decline in Singapore’s merchandise exports. But the retail trade and transportation and storage sectors expanded, with the latter supported by robust growth in the air transport segment.

The sectors as a group contracted by 1.0 per cent in the first quarter, extending the 1.6 per cent contraction in the fourth quarter of 2022.

The group of sectors comprising information and communications, finance and insurance and professional services sectors expanded by 1.9 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter, moderating from the 2.5 per cent growth in the previous quarter.

All sectors within the group, except for the finance and insurance sector, expanded during the quarter. The contraction of the finance and insurance sector was largely due to the weak performance of the banking and insurance segments.

The remaining group of services sectors - accommodation and food services, real estate, administrative and support services and other services sectors - grew by 6.7 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter, extending the 9.0 per cent growth in the previous quarter

All sectors within the group expanded during the quarter. Growth in the accommodation sector was supported by a strong recovery in international visitor arrivals.

Editor's note: A previous version of this article said that Singapore's gross domestic product came in at 0.7 per cent in the first quarter on a seasonally-adjusted, quarter-on-quarter basis. That was incorrect. It should have said it contracted by 0.7 per cent. We apologise for the error.

Source: CNA/sk/cm(ac)

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