A man wearing a face mask walks past a mural in Chinatown in Singapore on April 1, 2020.
Roslan Rahman | AFP | Getty Images
SINGAPORE – Singapore’s economy grew at its fastest pace in more than a year in the first quarter of 2021, helped by a stronger-than-expected manufacturing sector, official data showed on Tuesday.
But the government has warned of “heightened uncertainties” resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic in the coming months, while keeping its growth forecast for Singapore between 4% and 6% for 2021.
Southeast Asia’s economy grew 1.3% in the quarter ended March compared to a year ago, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said in an update economic.
This is the highest growth rate in Singapore since the fourth quarter of 2019 and an improvement over official preliminary estimates of a 0.2% expansion. The latest impression of GDP also exceeded the 0.9% annual growth forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll.
On a quarterly basis, Singapore’s economy grew 3.1% – faster than previous government estimates of 2%.
Here’s how the different sectors fared in the first three months of 2021:
- The manufacturing sector grew 10.7% from a year ago, thanks to stronger output in the electronics, precision engineering and chemicals clusters.
- Construction contracted 22.7% year on year, weighed down by the decline in public and private sector projects.
- Service industries edged down 0.5% from a year ago – an improvement from the 4.7% contraction in the previous quarter.
Singapore has been grappling with an increase in Covid-19 cases in recent weeks, which has led the government to impose tougher measures for about a month from May 15. An airline bubble project with Hong Kong has also been postponed.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry said the tightening of national restrictions and border controls is a “setback” for some segments of the economy.
But Singapore’s economy as a whole is expected to recover further this year “alongside the global economic recovery and further progress in the national immunization program,” the ministry said. He added that he will revise his economic forecast in August.
On Monday, the country reported more than 61,800 Covid cases and 32 deaths since the start of 2020, according to data from the Ministry of Health. Nearly 2 million people in Singapore – roughly a third of the population – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus virus as of May 17, according to official data.