Singapore’s economy grew by 0.2 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2021.
A turnaround after three quarters of contraction, as the country continued its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted basis, Singapore’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 2 percent between January and March, extending the 3.8 percent growth in the previous quarter, advance estimates by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) on Wednesday (Apr 14) showed.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected a decline of 0.2 percent.
Singapore’s economy has been battered by the COVID-19 pandemic. After the first case was reported in Singapore on Jan 23 last year, Singapore posted 0 percent growth in GDP in the first quarter, followed by contractions in the following three quarters.
Last year, Singapore’s economy shrunk by 5.4 percent, the country’s first annual contraction since 2001 and its worst recession since independence.
“The expansion is a strong signal that our economy is slowly but surely recovering from the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 last year,” said Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing in a Facebook post after the data was released.
“While we are cautiously optimistic, many downside risks remain which we will have to pay close attention to,” he added.
Factory activity also helped Singapore’s economy
Singapore’s economy rose on the back of strong manufacturing activity.
The sector grew 7.5 percent year-on-year, supported by output expansions in the electronics, precision engineering, chemicals and biomedical manufacturing clusters.
Construction sector continued to contract, albeit at a slower rate, as activity in the private and public sectors picked up.
The sector shrank by 20.2 percent in the first quarter, compared with the 27.4 percent decline in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Among the services sectors, the wholesale and retail trade as well as transportation and storage trade sectors shrank by 4.1 percent in the first quarter.
Source: Channel News Asia