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Singapore economy up 2.9 pct in Q2, expects full year around 2.5 pct

Singapore economy up 2.9 pct in Q2, expects full year around 2.5 pct
Growth was largely supported by the education, health & social services and the arts, entertainment & recreation segments. - FILEpic
SINGAPORE: The Singapore economy grew by 2.9 per cent on a year-on-year (yoy) basis in the second quarter (Q2) of 2017, faster than the 2.5 per cent growth in the previous quarter, according to the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) today.

In releasing the latest economic numbers for the republic here, the ministry noted that gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the full year is likely to come in at around 2.5 per cent.

MTI said the manufacturing sector continued to grow at a robust pace of 8.1 per cent following the 8.5 per cent growth in the previous quarter.

Growth during the quarter was primarily supported by the electronics and  precision engineering clusters, which expanded on the back of strong global demand for semiconductors and semiconductor-related equipment, it said in a statement.

On the other hand, MTI said, the biomedical manufacturing, general manufacturing and transport engineering clusters saw a decline in output.

The construction sector contracted by 5.7 per cent, extending the 6.3 per cent decline in the previous quarter. 
MTI said the weak performance of the sector was due to a fall in both private sector and public sectors' construction output. 

The wholesale & retail trade sector grew by 1.5 per cent yoy, faster than the 0.1 per cent growth in the previous quarter. 

Growth was supported by both the wholesale trade and retail trade segments, with the former in turn bolstered by the wholesaling of machinery, equipment & supplies, it said. 

The ministry said growth in the transportation & storage sector came in at 3.5 per cent year-on-year, following the 4.4 per cent expansion in the previous quarter. 

Growth was supported mainly by the water transport segment, which expanded on the back of an increase in container throughput and sea cargo handled at Singapore’s ports, it said. 

The accommodation & food services sector contracted by 2.2 per cent, continuing the 1.7 per cent decline in the previous quarter. 

The sector was weighed down primarily by the weak performance of the food services segment, which contracted on the back of sluggish sales volume at restaurants, it said.

Growth in the information & communications sector eased to 1.8 per cent, from 2.1 per cent in the previous quarter, largely due to a sharper pullback in the telecommunications segment. 

By contrast, the IT & information services segment saw robust growth as a result of strong corporate demand for IT solutions, it said. 

The finance & insurance sector expanded by 3.8 per cent yoy, accelerating from the 0.7 per cent growth in the previous quarter. 

Growth was underpinned by the strong performance of the financial intermediation, fund management and insurance segments, said MTI. 

The business services sector recorded growth of 1.8 per cent yoy, higher than the 0.9 per cent growth in the previous quarter, supported mainly by the head offices & business representative offices and other administrative & support services segments. 

The “other services industries” grew by 3.1 per cent yoy, similar to the three per cent growth in the previous quarter. 

Growth was largely supported by the education, health & social services and the arts, entertainment & recreation segments. 

On outlook, MTI said, taking into account the global and domestic economic environment, as well as the GDP growth of 2.7 per cent in the first half of the year, the full-year growth forecast for the Singapore economy is narrowed upwards to “2.0 to 3.0 per cent”, from “1.0 to 3.0 per cent”. 

Barring unexpected outcomes in the global economy and key sectors in the domestic economy for the rest of the year, MTI’s central view is that GDP growth for the full year is likely to come in at around 2.5 per cent, it said. - BERNAMA