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December 31, 2010 12:34 pm
SINGAPORE, Dec 31 - Singapore’s economy grew 12.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2010 from a year earlier and for the whole year gross domestic product (GDP) growth was 14.7 percent, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Friday.
In his speech to the nation on the New Year eve, Lee said the economic growth was expected to slow to 4-6 per cent in 2011, a range he said is “commendable”.
The full year GDP growth figure was slightly below a median forecast of 14.9 percent seen in a Reuters poll of analysts, but was close to the upper end of an official forecast range of 13-15 per cent. Economists say this is the probably the world’s fastest growth rate for 2010.
Singapore’s economy, which suffered a contraction in 2009, rebounded this year because of strong manufacturing growth, resilient exports and stellar performance in tourism-related sectors, bolstered by two new casino resorts.
Lee, the third prime minister of the modern city-state in five decades, was cautious about the state of the global economy due to a weak U.S. economy and debt crises in parts of Europe, but added Asian growth momentum is strong.
“Hopefully Asia will continue to do well despite the weakness in developed countries, and create a favourable regional environment for Singapore,” he said.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry is due to release advance GDP estimates for the fourth quarter and entire 2010 on Monday. Lee did not provide figures for quarter-on-quarter growth.
A Reuters poll of analysts before the speech showed the economy is estimated to have grown 6 per cent from the third quarter on a seasonally adjusted annualised basis.
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