ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

GDP growth forecast at 5-7%

Growth momentum is said to have strengthened in the first quarter.

“Singapore’s GDP growth accelerated in Q1 2011, recording a 22.5% sequential expansion,” said a report by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. MAS pointed out the step-up in economic activity in Q1 reflected an improvement in end demand in Singapore’s key export markets.

The expected GDP growth is supported by a moderate but broad-based expansion across a range of industries. The report noted, “While there are continuing uncertainties, the external environment remains fairly conducive for growth in the coming quarters. Against this backdrop, the domestic manufacturing sector should continue to be supported by the moderate turnaround in the global IT industry."

MAS added demand for IT products in the advanced economies has picked up in recent months, and has remained fairly firm in the emerging markets. Supply-side expansions in the domestic electronics and chemical segments will also provide further support.

“This should in turn sustain growth in the trade-related services. Financial services will continue to be anchored by gains in intermediation, and the sentiment-sensitive industries could provide a fillip to growth, with near-term indicators reflecting a pickup in confidence over steady growth in Asia ex-Japan,” said the report.

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