ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Singapore economy expanded by 15.5%

On a year-on-year basis in the first quarter of 2010, the Singapore economy grew as the manufacturing sector saw 32.9 percent expansion.

"The strong momentum seen in the first quarter was broad-based, led by the manufacturing sector which expanded by 32.9 per cent on a year-on-year basis. Except for transport engineering, all other manufacturing clusters showed robust growth. The electronics cluster enjoyed the strongest growth, underpinned by strong global demand for semiconductor chips," said a release by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI).

Meanwhile MTI maintains the GDP growth forecast for Singapore in 2010 at 7 to 9 percent, taking into consideration the following factors:

"First, there is heightened market anxiety over the possibility of a sovereign debt default in Europe. While policymakers in the EU have introduced timely and forceful interventions to reduce the downside risk in the near term, significant uncertainties remain beyond the immediate horizon. Second, there continues to be concerns over excessive asset price inflation in emerging Asia. Should investor sentiments wane or if more monetary tightening measures are introduced, sharp asset price corrections could follow."

MTI added the risks could negatively impact Singapore if they materialise.

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