By Kevin Lim
SINGAPORE (Jan 2) -- Singapores economy expanded by 3.1% in the fourth quarter of 2017, bringing growth for the full year to 3.5%, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said on Tuesday.
The growth during the fourth quarter was powered by manufacturing, which surged 6.2% from a year ago. The pace of expansion was, however, slower than the 19.2% achieved in the third quarter.
Services expanded 3.0% on-year during the quarter while construction contracted by 8.5%, according to advance estimates released by the ministry.
On a seasonally adjusted and annualized basis, Singapores economy grew 2.8% in the fourth quarter from the preceding three-month period, slower than the 9.4% expansion recorded in the third quarter.
Singapores growth for the full year came in at the top of the governments most recent forecast of 3% to 3.5%, and was higher than the median estimate of 3.3% in a recent central bank survey of private sector forecasters. It was also the economys best performance since 2014 when gross domestic product expanded by 3.6%.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who mentioned last years full-year growth figure in his New Year message on Saturday, said the trade-dependent economy had benefited from the global economic upswing, with incomes rising across the board especially for low and middle earners.
More fundamentally, our productivity has grown. Singaporeans are upgrading and learning new skills, while businesses are innovating and adopting new technology, he said.
Lee did not give a growth forecast for 2018 but he warned the external environment remained uncertain, with growing tensions and anxiety in the Korean Peninsula and continuing danger from extremist terrorism.
The US approach towards Asia, the Middle East and the rest of the world has yet to be fully articulated, he added.
Singapore releases advance growth estimates based primarily on data for the first two months of the quarter. They are intended as an early indication of the economys performance and are often revised when more comprehensive data becomes available.
The government had previously said that growth this year is likely to come in between 1.5% and 3.5%.
- By Kevin Lim; Kevin.Lim@nikkeinewsrise.com; +65 6331 6250
- Edited by Sumathi Vaidyanathan
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