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Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said on Wednesday that the country’s gross domestic products (GDP) growth is estimated at 2.2 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2018, compared to a 2.3-percent growth for the third quarter.
The ministry also said that Singapore’s economy grew by 3.3 percent in the whole year of 2018, compared to a revised 3.6-percent growth in 2017.
Both the growth rates of the fourth quarter and the whole year are advance estimates of the ministry, which are computed largely from data in October and November. They are intended as an early indication of GDP, and are subject to revision when more comprehensive data become available, said the ministry.
The MTI said it will release the preliminary GDP estimates for the fourth quarter and the whole of 2018 in its Economic Survey of Singapore this February.
According to the ministry, Singapore’s manufacturing sector expanded by 5.5 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter, faster than a 3.7-percent growth in the previous quarter. The construction sector contracted by 2.2 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter, extending a 2.5-percent decline in the previous quarter. Singapore’s services producing industries grew by 1.9 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter, moderating from a 2.6-percent growth in the third quarter.
Selena Ling, head of Treasury Research and Strategy of OCBC Bank, said the 2.2-percent growth in the fourth quarter marks the slowest year-on-year growth since the third quarter of 2016.
She said the estimated 2018 growth is within the government’s 3.0-3.5 percent forecast range, and because the official 2019 GDP growth forecast range is set at 1.5-3.5 percent at present, there could be some potential downside risk for 2019 from the 3.3-percent growth for 2018.
The OCBC Bank forecast Singapore’s GDP will grow by 2.7 percent in 2019, Ling added.
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