Singapore's 3Q Growth Beats Initial Estimate

By Gaurav Raghuvanshi Features Dow Jones Newswires

Singapore's economy grew faster than initially estimated in the third quarter, prompting the government to revise its forecast for this year.

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Gross domestic product expanded 8.8% in July-September from the previous quarter on a seasonally adjusted and annualized basis, compared with a 6.3% expansion in advance estimates released last month. The result compared with a 2.2% on-quarter expansion in the second quarter, data from the Ministry of Trade and Industry showed Thursday.

On a year-over-year basis, GDP grew 5.2% in the third quarter, faster than the 4.6% growth estimated last month, and higher than a 2.9% gain in the second quarter.

The results follow data showing stronger-than-expected expansions in Southeast Asian economies such as Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines, and further afield in Taiwan, as an improvement in exports driven by tech demand powers regional growth.

The government now expects the economy to grow between 3.0% and 3.5% this year, compared with an earlier range of between 2% and 3%. The economy grew 2.0% in 2016.

"For the rest of the year, Singapore's GDP growth is expected to moderate but remain firm," the ministry said in a statement.

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While the upturn in the global technology cycle has fueled strong growth in Singapore's electronics production and exports this year, many analysts predict the momentum will ease, though financial services, construction, and offshore and marine sectors may pick up some of the slack.

The Singapore government expects global growth to pick up marginally next year, though several of Singapore's key markets including China and Europe may slow.

"Against this external backdrop, the pace of growth of the Singapore economy is expected to moderate in 2018," the ministry said, predicting the economy to grow between 1.5% and 3.5% next year.

The third quarter GDP data showed that Singapore's manufacturing sector grew 18.4% from a year earlier, after a 8.4% gain in the second quarter. Services sector gathered pace as well, growing 3.0% from a year earlier, compared with a 2.5% gain in the April-to-June period.

Construction, however, lagged with a 7.6% year-over-year contraction in the third quarter, after falling 9.1% in the second quarter of this year.

Write to Gaurav Raghuvanshi at gaurav.raghuvanshi@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 22, 2017 19:24 ET (00:24 GMT)