Thursday March 21, 2013
Singapore growth forecast raised slightly
SINGAPORE: Singapore's economy will likely grow at a slightly faster pace this year than expected earlier, helped by a pickup in manufacturing and financial services, a central bank survey released yesterday showed.
Singapore, a wealthy city-state of 5.3 million people, twice came close to falling into recession last year as global demand for electronics plunged and weak financial markets took a toil on investment banks.
The electronics industry has shown signs of stabilising, however, with a key semiconductor industry gauge turning positive in January and US retail sales expanding at their fastest clip in five months in February.
Economists now expect Singapore's gross domestic product (GDP) to grow 2.8 % this year, slightly higher than the median estimate of 2.7 % in the previous poll, according to the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
The bulk of growth is likely to come in the second half of the year, however, with economists forecasting 0.8 % year-on-year growth for the first three months of 2013. - Reuters