0450 GMT March 21, 2018
According to its statement, the Singapore economy grew by 1.8 percent in the first quarter on a yearly basis; while on a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualized basis, the economy expanded by 0.2 percent, slower than the 6.2 percent growth in the preceding quarter, Xinhua reported.
The manufacturing sector, which accounts for almost one-fifth of the total economy, contracted by one percent year-on-year, following the 6.7 percent decline in the previous quarter. Growth was dragged down primarily by the transport engineering and precision engineering clusters. The two clusters were in turn weighed down by the weak performance of firms in the marine and offshore segment and firms that produce equipment for the oil and gas industry respectively. On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualized basis, the sector grew by 23.3 percent, reversing the 4.9 percent contraction in the fourth quarter of last year.
Growth in the construction sector picked up to 6.2 percent year-on-year, from 4.9 percent in the previous quarter, supported by public sector construction works and private industrial building works. On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the sector expanded at a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 10.5 percent, faster than the 6.0 percent growth in the preceding quarter.
The information and communications sector grew by 3.2 percent, mainly driven by growth in the IT and information services segment. The finance and insurance sector expanded by 2.4 percent, unchanged from the previous quarter.
The wholesale and retail trade sector grew by 1.8 percent year-on-year, while the transportation and storage sector contracted at a slower pace of 0.4 percent.
Growth in the accommodation and food services sector came in at 1.5 percent year-on-year, higher than the 0.9 percent in the previous quarter. The improved performance was largely due to the 13.8 percent increase in visitor arrivals. On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualized basis, the sector grew by 0.3 percent, moderating from the one percent growth in the preceding quarter.
Looking ahead, MTI said that the global economic outlook remains clouded with significant uncertainties and downside risks. Therefore, it maintained the 2016 growth forecast for the Singapore economy at one to three percent.