SINGAPORE: The Singapore economy grew 1.8 per cent on a year-on-year basis in the first quarter, unchanged from the previous quarter, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) announced yesterday.
It also maintained the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth forecast for 2016 between 1.0 and 3.0 per cent.
The manufacturing sector contracted by 1.0 per cent, year- on-year, following the 6.7 per cent decline in the previous quarter.
Growth was dragged down primarily by the transport engineering and precision engineering clus-ters.
The two clusters were in turn weighed down by the weak performance of firms in the marine & offshore segment and firms that produce equipment for the oil & gas industry respectively, said MTI in a statement.
Growth in the construction sector grew 6.2 per cent, year- on-year, from 4.9 per cent in the previous quarter, supported by public sector construction and private industrial building works.
The wholesale & retail trade sector grew 1.8 per cent, year-on- year, transportation & storage sector contracted at a slower pace of 0.4 per cent, accommodation & food services sector improved 1.5 per cent and information & communications sector grew 3.2 per cent.
Meanwhile, the finance & insurance sector expanded 2.4 per cent, year-on-year, unchanged from the previous quarter.
The sector’s performance was weighed down by the financial intermediation segment, even as the sentiment-sensitive and in-surance segments experienced robust growth, said MTI.
The business services sector’s growth moderated to 0.3 per cent year-on-year, from 0.8 per cent in the previous quarter.
On economic outlook for the year, MTI said the global economic outlook had weakened since early 2016, with global growth for the year now expected to be broadly similar to that in 2015.
In particular, the growth outlook for the advanced economies had deteriorated marginally, it said.
Domestically, the softening of global economic conditions, as well as the continued sluggishness in global trade, could weigh on externally-oriented sectors such as the manufacturing and transportation & storage sectors.
Persistent low oil prices will also continue to dampen the outlook for firms in the marine & offshore segment and, those in the precision engineering cluster that support the oil & gas industry.
While sectors such as finance & insurance and wholesale trade could see a moderation in growth compared with 2015, they were still likely to provide some support to overall GDP growth for the year.
In addition, MTI said tourismrelated sectors may see a boost from the recovery in visitor arrivals while the biomedical manufacturing cluster could see an increase in production due to the introduction of new active pharmaceutical ingredients. — Bernama