SINGAPORE’S economy performed much better than expected this year due mostly to a strong showing in electronics, prompting the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) to upgrade its 2017 gross domestic product (GDP) forecast on Thursday.
Full-year GDP growth is now expected to be 3-3.5 per cent. This is up from an earlier estimate of 2-3 per cent, with the final figure expected to come in at the upper end of the range previously.
The upgraded forecast dovetails with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s earlier remarks last Sunday that the Singapore economy could expand by more than 3 per cent in 2017.
Some private sector economists have also revised their estimates upwards, with three consecutive quarters of growth now in the bag.
In the latest economic data released on Thursday, the Singapore economy grew by 5.2 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter, led once again by the manufacturing sector and other externally oriented sectors.
This is faster than the preceding growth of 2.9 per cent in the previous quarter and the the best showing since the economy grew 5.4 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2013.
On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted basis, the economy expanded by a whopping 8.8 per cent, accelerating from 2.2 per cent in the second quarter.
The headline figure of 5.2 per cent was revised upwards from October’s advance GDP estimates of 4.6 per cent.
This beat economists’ expectations of a 5 per cent expansion, according to a poll by Bloomberg.