By Krystal Chia
Singapore’s economy grew at a faster pace than economists estimated in the fourth quarter of 2017, boosted by services such as finance and insurance.
Gross domestic product rose at a seasonally adjusted and annualized rate of 2.8 percent from the previous three months, according to preliminary figures from the trade ministry on Tuesday. The median estimate of eight economists in a Bloomberg survey was 1.6 percent. Growth was revised to 9.4 percent in the third quarter.
Singapore, among Asia’s most export-reliant economies, has benefited from a global trade recovery that’s boosted demand for its electronics goods. The government and the central bank forecast GDP growth of 1.5 to 3.5 percent this year. Against the backdrop of steady growth and benign inflation, the government has signaled it may raise taxes while the Monetary Authority of Singapore opened the door to a tightening move at its last policy decision in October.
Compared to the same period last year, GDP rose 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter compared with the 2.6 percent median estimate. The economy expanded 3.5 percent in 2017, the fastest pace since 2014. Full-year growth was more than double the initial government forecast as the country benefited from the global economic upswing, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in his New Year message Sunday.
- Services industry, which accounts for about two-thirds of economy, grew 7.5 percent in the fourth quarter from the prior three months; growth in services also boosted by wholesale and retail, as well as transportation and storage sectors
- Manufacturing fell 11.5 percent.
With assistance from Myungshin Cho, Linus Chua, Michelle Jamrisko and Sebastian Tong.
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