Singapore’s economy rebounds

SIGN OF THE TIMES::Singapore’s economic growth is closely linked to overseas demand, making the city state a bellwether for global economic conditions


Sat, Jul 13, 2013 - Page 15

Singapore’s economy grew at its fastest pace in nearly two years in the second quarter as manufacturing of pharmaceuticals and electronics rebounded.

The government said yesterday that GDP rose 3.7 percent from a year earlier in the April-to-June quarter, accelerating from the 0.2 percent expansion in the first quarter, the trade ministry said in a statement.

That was the fastest growth since the third quarter of 2011 when the economy expanded 5.7 percent.

The growth in the GDP for the second quarter was also a sharp increase from the 1.8 percent quarter-on-quarter expansion in the first quarter.

The second quarter figure is an advance estimate based on activity in April and May, with updated data to be released next month.

Singapore’s growth is closely tied to overseas demand, making it a bellwether for global economic conditions.

Manufacturing grew 1.1 percent year-on-year in the second quarter after contracting 6.9 percent in the previous quarter. On a quarterly basis, manufacturing soared 37.6 percent in the second quarter, reversing a 12.7 percent fall in the preceding three months.

The construction sector, which had taken up the slack from manufacturing, slowed to 5.6 percent year-on-year growth from 6.8 percent in the first quarter. On a quarterly basis, construction grew 9.0 percent from last quarter after a 14.3 percent growth in the preceding three months.

Service industries, which have become more important to the economy after the opening of two casino-resorts in the city-state, expanded 5 percent in the second quarter from the same period of last year and grew 9.0 percent quarter-on-quarter, faster than the 8.1 percent growth in the earlier quarter.

“The sharp rebound largely reflected the strong growth in the output of the biomedical and electronics clusters,” the trade ministry said in the statement.

Barclays Capital said in a report that Singapore’s exports have remained subdued despite higher industrial production, which suggests the final figure for the second quarter will be lower than the advance estimate.

The government expects the economy to grow between 1 percent and 3 percent this year.