Wed, Jan 04, 2012 - Page 10 News List

Singapore’s economy contracts in Q4

AP, Singapore

Singapore’s economy contracted in the fourth quarter as manufacturing plunged amid a slowdown in global trade, the government said yesterday.

GDP shrank 4.9 percent in the October-to-December period from the previous quarter, the second contraction in three quarters, the Singaporean Trade and Industry Ministry said in a statement.

Manufacturing slumped 22 percent from the previous quarter, while construction fell 6.7 percent, the ministry said.

Singapore expects the growth of its economy — which relies on manufacturing, finance and tourism — to slow to as little as 1 percent this year as a faltering global economy undermines demand for the city-state’s exports.

The economy grew 4.8 percent last year, down from a 15 percent expansion in 2010.

GDP grew 3.6 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier.

The government also reported yesterday that the increase in housing costs slowed for a ninth straight quarter in the fourth quarter.

Private residential home prices rose 0.2 percent last quarter from the third quarter, the Singaporean Urban Redevelopment Authority said in a statement.

Prices of public housing, where about 80 percent of Singaporeans live, rose 1.7 percent, the government said.

Analysts expect housing prices to drop in the coming months after the government imposed a 10 percent stamp duty last month on residential property purchases by foreigners and companies.

Private property prices rose to a record-high last year and are up about 80 percent since 2004.

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