SINGAPORE - Singapore's economy grew by 2.2% year on year in the fourth quarter of 2018, below economists' forecasts, flash estimates by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) on Wednesday (Jan 2) showed.
While only slightly under the 2.3% growth in the previous quarter, economists had expected fourth-quarter growth to come in at 2.5% year on year, according to a Bloomberg consensus forecast. Overall, the economy grew by 3.3% in the whole of 2018, down from 2017's 3.6% as earlier announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
On a quarter on quarter seasonally adjusted annualised basis, the economy expanded at a slower pace of 1.6% compared with the 3.5% growth in the third quarter. Manufacturing expanded by 5.5% year on year in the fourth quarter, faster than the 3.7% growth in the previous quarter. This growth was largely driven by output expansions in the biomedical manufacturing and electronics clusters, although the precision engineering cluster shrank.
The construction sector contracted by 2.2% year on year, extending the 2.5% decline in the previous quarter. The contraction was primarily due to weakness in public sector construction activities. The services producing industries also saw moderate growth, expanding by 1.9% year on year compared with the 2.6% growth in the previous quarter.
MTI will release the final growth figures for the fourth quarter and the whole of 2018, including a performance by sectors, sources of growth, inflation, employment and productivity, in February.
Adapted from The Straits Times, 2 Jan 2019.