Singapore: Growth moderates in fourth quarter
January 3, 2012
In the fourth quarter, GDP grew 3.6% over the same period the previous year, according to advance estimates released on 3 January by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI). The reading marked a significant deterioration over the previous quarter's 5.9% expansion but was broadly in line with market expectations. Compared to the previous quarter, the economy contracted at a seasonally adjusted annualised rate (saar) of 4.9%, which contrasted the previous quarter's 1.5% expansion. The moderation was mainly driven by a slowdown in the manufacturing sector, which stepped down from a vigorous 13.4% year-on-year expansion in the third quarter to a 6.5% increase in the fourth quarter. According to the MTI, the slowdown ?largely reflected the continued decline in the electronics cluster, as well as a pull-back in growth in the biomedical manufacturing cluster?. Meanwhile, output in the services sector moderated to a 3.2% expansion (Q3: +3.7% yoy), whereas the construction sector accelerated to a 1.7% expansion (Q3: +0.5% yoy). Based on the advance estimates, the MTI estimates the economy to have grown 4.8% in the full year 2011, roughly a third of the 14.5% expansion witnessed in 2010. Going forward, the MTI expects the economy to grow between 1.0% and 3.0% this year.