GDP gains momentum as manufacturing makes a comeback
The Singapore economy expanded 10% in 1Q12 in a dramatic reversal from last quarter's 2.5% contraction.
Manufacturing was singled out as the catalyst for this upswing, according to the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) in a release, with the slumping sector getting back on its feet somewhat with a 19.8% annualised rate expansion.
Construction and tourism also chipped in to the economic rebound.
Here's more from MTI:
The Singapore economy grew by 1.6 per cent on a year-on-year basis in the first quarter of 2012, compared to 3.6 per cent in the preceding quarter. On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualised basis, the economy expanded by 10.0 per cent, reversing the 2.5 per cent contraction in the previous quarter.
The improved growth momentum was largely attributable to the upturn in the manufacturing sector. On a sequential basis, the manufacturing sector expanded by an annualised rate of 19.8 per cent, reversing the 11.1 per cent contraction in the previous quarter. This turnaround was driven by increased production across all key manufacturing clusters, notably electronics and precision engineering. On a year-on-year basis, however, the sector contracted by 1.0 per cent due to a high base a year ago.
The construction sector grew by 7.7 per cent on a year-on-year basis, an improvement from the 2.9 per cent growth in the preceding quarter. On a sequential basis, the sector rebounded b y an annualised rate of 32.1 per cent, largely due to increased construction activities in the residential and institutional building segments.
The wholesale & retail trade sector contracted by 0.3 per cent on a year-on-year basis, following the marginal growth of 0.9 per cent in the preceding quarter. On a sequential basis, the sector contracted by an annualised rate of 2.3 per cent. This weak performance was mainly attributable to a decline in re-export volume which negatively affected the wholesale trade segment. The transportation & storage sector continued to see moderate growth, at 3.5 per cent compared to a year ago and 1.5 per cent (annualised) on a sequential basis.
Growth in the finance & insurance sector moderated to 0.8 per cent on a year-on-year basis, from 3.5 per cent in the preceding quarter. On a sequential basis, the sector contracted for the second consecutive quarter, by 3.4 per cent (annualised), partly due to sluggishness in fund management activities. In contrast, the business services sector posted a faster year-on-year growth of 3.5 per cent and a strong sequential gain of 12.7 per cent (annualised), largely due to a pick-up in real estate transaction volume.
Supported by healthy visitor arrivals, tourism-related sectors continued to expand. The accommodation & food services and other services industries (which include arts, entertainment and recreation activities) grew b y 4.0 and 5.1 per cent respectively, compared to a year ago. On a sequential basis, these sectors expanded strongly by an annualised rate of 11.9 per cent and 15.0 per cent respectively.