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Singapore 4Q GDP +2.8% on Qtr; Beats Expectations

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01/02/2018 | 01:40am CET

Singapore's economic growth slowed in the fourth quarter but still beat expectations, propelled by the manufacturing sector.

Gross domestic product in the last quarter of 2017 grew 2.8% on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis compared with the previous quarter, according to advance estimates released by the Ministry of Trade and Industry on Tuesday. That compared with a revised 9.4% expansion in the previous three months and 1.6% growth forecast by a Wall Street Journal poll of economists.

The island nation's economy in the October-December period is estimated to have expanded 3.1% compared with the same period a year ago, beating the 2.6% growth forecast by the poll. GDP grew a revised 5.4% from a year ago in the third quarter, the government said.

The final fourth-quarter GDP reading is expected in February.

Manufacturing output grew 6.2% from a year ago, after a revised 19.2% gain in the third quarter. Services output grew 3.0% while the construction sector contracted 8.5%, the data showed.

Singapore's manufacturing output was strong in 2017 thanks to a revival in the electronics sector.

Other manufacturing segments such as marine and offshore engineering will likely need to pick up for Singapore to sustain its growth rate. Many economists have predicted the electronics cycle will weaken in the coming months, hurting local suppliers to global technology companies.

Construction, a laggard in 2017, may improve in coming months as local property prices stabilize and the government continues to build roads and rail infrastructure.

For 2017, the economy grew 3.5%, in line with government's revised growth forecast of between 3.0% and 3.5%. The economy grew 2.0% in 2016. In November, the government said it expected the economy to grow between 1.5% and 3.5% in 2018.

-- Write to Saurabh Chaturvedi at [email protected]

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