Singapore preliminary 1Q19 economic growth slows to 1.3 percent amid holiday period

CapitaLand sign at Funan Mall redevelopment project; taken September 2018.

Singapore’s first quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth slowed to 1.3 percent on-year, from 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter, off a high base of 4.7 percent growth in the year-ago quarter, according to preliminary data from the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) on Friday.

That was amid a 1.9 percent on-year contraction in the manufacturing sector in the first quarter, swinging from 5.1 percent growth in the fourth quarter and 10.1 percent growth in the year-ago quarter, MTI data showed.

“The performance of the sector was weighed down by output declines in the precision engineering and electronics clusters, which more than offset output expansions in the biomedical manufacturing and transport engineering clusters,” MTI said in a statement released Friday.

But the construction sector posted a turnaround after 10 straight quarters of declines, growing by 1.4 percent on-year in the first quarter, after contracting 1.0 percent in the fourth quarter and contracting 6.0 percent in the year-ago quarter, the data showed.

“The recovery of the sector was supported by an improvement in private sector construction activities,” MTI said.

Service-producing industries grew 2.1 percent on-year in the first quarter, compared with 1.8 percent on-year growth in the fourth quarter and 4.4 percent growth in the year-earlier period, MTI said, adding the growth was mainly supported by the information and communications and the business services sectors.

The preliminary data for the first quarter were mainly from January and February, which included the Lunar New Year holiday period, and are subject to revision.

More comprehensive estimates will be released in May.



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