Singapore GDP growth slows to 2.2 percent in 4Q18, missing forecasts

Singapore 50 dollar bill

Singapore’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew 2.2 percent on-year in the fourth quarter, down from 2.3 percent in the previous period, missing economists’ forecasts, according to preliminary data released by the Ministry of Trade and Industry on Wednesday.

A Reuters poll of economists had forecast 2.3 percent growth, while a Bloomberg survey had tipped 2.5 percent.

The dollar/Singapore dollar climbed slightly after the data, trading at 1.3637 at 8:57 A.M. SGT, rising from as low as 1.3624 shortly before its release.

For the full year, the city-state’s economy grew 3.3 percent, MTI said, as had been highlighted by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in a New Year’s message.

On an on-quarter seasonally adjusted basis, Singapore’s economy grew 1.6 percent, compared with 3.5 percent growth in the third quarter, the MTI statement said.

The manufacturing sector expanded 5.5 percent on-year in the fourth quarter, faster than the third quarter’s 3.7 percent rise, it said.

“Growth was largely driven by robust output expansions in the biomedical manufacturing and electronics clusters, which more than offset the output decline in the precision engineering cluster,” MTI said.

The construction sector contracted by 2.2 percent on-year in the quarter, after declining 2.5 percent in the third quarter, amid public-sector construction weakness, MTI said.

The services-producing industries grew by 1.9 percent on-year in the quarter, down from a 2.6 percent expansion in the third quarter, the data showed.

“Growth was mainly supported by the finance and insurance, business services and information & communications sectors,” MTI said.

MTI said the preliminary GDP estimate was calculated mainly from data for October and November and was subject to revision.

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