Singapore’s GDP growth eases in 2015

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Singapore, Feb 24 (IANS) The Singapore economy grew 1.8 percent on a year-on-year basis in the fourth quarter of 2015, with the whole year GDP growth eased to two percent last year, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said on Wednesday.

The manufacturing sector, which contributes to about one-fifth of the total GDP, contracted by 6.7 percent in the fourth quarter year-on-year, extending the 6.0 percent decline in the preceding quarter, Xinhua news agency reported quoting the ministry.

The contraction was primarily due to a decline in the output of the transport engineering and electronics clusters. On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualised basis, the sector contracted by 4.9 percent, following a 6.0-percent decline in the previous quarter.

The construction sector grew 4.9 percent year-on-year, faster than a 3.0-percent growth in the previous quarter, supported by public sector construction activities.

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On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualised basis, growth in the sector accelerated to 6.0 percent, from 0.2 percent in the preceding quarter.

For the whole year of 2015, the Singapore economy expanded by 2.0 percent, slower than the 3.3 percent in 2014.

The manufacturing sector contracted by 5.2 percent, a reversal from a 2.7-percent growth in 2014.

Looking ahead, MTI said the global economic outlook has softened since the start of the year, alongside a sharp fall in oil prices and volatility in global financial markets.

It, therefore, expected global growth for the year of 2016 to be only marginally better than in 2015.

“Growth for the year is expected to be supported by strengthening growth in the advanced economies, even as conditions in the emerging markets remain challenging,” it said.

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MTI has maintained its GDP growth forecast for 2016 at 1.0 to 3. 0 percent.

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