05-01-2017

Singapore quarterly GDP estimates up 9.1pc, surpassing 3-year high

Shipping

DESPITE gloomy news from the shipping sector, Singapore's gross domestic product (GDP) increased 9.1 per cent in the fourth quarter from the previous three months, when it declined 1.9 per cent, according to trade ministry estimates.

GDP estimates for the fourth quarter are based on data from the first two months of the quarter, and are subject to revision.

But this jump shows the fastest economic growth Singapore has experienced in more than three years sparked by a rebound of the city state's manufacturing and services sector.

The median estimate of nine economists in a Bloomberg survey was for a four per cent expansion GDP rose 1.8 per cent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier.

Singapore, among Asia's most-export dependent nations, is seeking new growth engines to boost incomes as its population ages and trade falters. With global growth under pressure and the US threatening to turn more protectionist under Donald Trump, the outlook remains cloudy. 

That will be a consideration for the central bank in its April policy review after it signalled in October it will stick to its neutral currency policy for an extended period of time.

"Overall, we are not doing badly, considering the global economic uncertainties," Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in his New Year message. "While the labour market has eased, unemployment remains low and we are still creating new jobs."

Services, which accounts for two-thirds of the economy, rose 9.4 per cent in the fourth quarter from the previous three months while manufacturing was up 14.6 per cent.

The advance GDP estimates for the fourth quarter are computed largely from data in the first two months of the quarter, and are subject to revision when more comprehensive data become available.

Source: Schednet

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