But economic growth for 2018 is expected to moderate, with official estimates tipping it to be slightly above the middle of the forecast range of 1.5 to 3.5 per cent.
A view of the financial district skyline in Singapore. (Photo: AFP)
SINGAPORE: The Singapore economy grew 3.6 per cent last year, faster than initial estimates of 3.5 per cent, according to data released by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) on Wednesday (Feb 14).
That is faster than 2016’s 2.4 per cent growth and marks the Republic’s fastest growth since 2014, helped largely by a strong performance in the manufacturing sector.
For the final three months of 2017, gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 3.6 per cent from a year earlier, easing from the 5.5 per cent rise in the third quarter but quicker than the Government’s earlier estimate of 3.1 per cent growth for the fourth quarter.
On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted basis, the economy grew by 2.1 per cent in the fourth quarter. This compared with the 2.8 per cent initially expected and 11.2 per cent growth during the July to September period.
The manufacturing sector, which makes up one-fifth of the economy, was the standout performer last year though growth saw a slowdown in the fourth quarter due partly to base effects. For 2017, the sector expanded by 10.1 per cent, an acceleration from 2016’s 3.7 per cent, with growth largely driven by the electronics and precision engineering clusters.
Accounting for about two-thirds of the economy, the services sector also quickened its pace of growth to 2.8 per cent last year, from 1.4 per cent in 2016. Growth was mainly supported by the finance and insurance, wholesale and retail trade, as well as transportation and storage sectors.