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Economy in Brief

Firm Q1 Growth in Singapore Prompts Hike in "Official" 2006 Forecast; Net Exports, Business Equipment Investment Lead
by Carol Stone May 17, 2006

Singapore's economy turned in a much better than expected performance in Q1, with its GDP up 6.8% annualized from Q4 and 10.6% from a year ago. Forecasts had called for a greater slowdown after the strong close to 2005 in Q4, when GDP was up 12.5% from Q3. The good gain prompted the Singapore government to raise its official forecast for the entire year from 4%-6% projected in February to 5%-7%.

On a year-over-year basis, both goods- and service-producing sectors participated in the good growth. Goods were led by manufacturing, which expanded by 20%. Press reports cited strength in electronic products, a sizable portion of manufacturing in Singapore. Also, among the industry "cluster" data compiled by the Singapore Economic Development Board, biomedical production and transport engineering were also very strong.

Value added in service industries gained 8.1% year-on-year, its best showing since Q2 2004. Wholesale and retail trade was a leader here, reflecting, according to the Department of Statistics, the movement of re-exports, which expanded 39.5% from a year ago in current prices.

Net exports were a leading source of demand, accounting for nearly 80% of the yearly GDP growth. Among domestic sectors, demand for machinery and equipment increased 19% from a year ago.

Singapore Q1 2006 Q4 2005 Q3 2005 Q2 2005 2005 2004
GDP Qtr/Qtr 6.8 12.5 9.6 14.6 -- --
  Year/Year 10.6 8.6 7.6 5.7 6.4 9.2
Goods Producing (Yr/Yr) 16.3 12.0 10.7 4.9 7.7 8.6
Service Producing (Yr/Yr) 8.1 7.2 6.8 5.8 6.0 7.1
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