Singapore growth averts recession
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SINGAPORE, Jan 2 AFP
January 02 2013, 2:23PM
Singapore's economy grew in the fourth quarter, avoiding a technical recession despite disappointing growth figures for 2012, government data shows.
Gross domestic product (GDP) rose 1.1 per cent year-on-year in the three months to December from zero growth in the previous quarter, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said on Wednesday.
On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the trade-dependent economy expanded by a seasonally adjusted annualised 1.8 per cent, reversing a revised 6.3 per cent contraction in the third quarter. The figures are based on estimates.
Analysts feared the economy had likely slipped into a technical recession - two successive quarters of contraction - after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a New Year's Day speech that GDP rose 1.2 per cent for the full year.
This was below the government's target for the economy to expand 1.5 to 2.5 per cent.
"Overall growth of just over 1.0 per cent is low by historical standards but it's still growth," said Song Seng Wun, a regional economist with CIMB Research.
The manufacturing sector shrank by an annualised 10.8 per cent quarter-on-quarter as the European debt crisis and the sluggish US economy weakened global demand. Manufacturing contracted by 0.2 per cent in 2012.
Construction also contracted 8.9 per cent quarter-on-quarter but grew 8.8 per cent on year. The services sector expanded 1.2 per cent overall in 2012.
Premier Lee in his speech on Tuesday said GDP was expected to grow 1.0-3.0 per cent in 2013 due to expected continued weakness in global demand.