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Singapore’s first-quarter gross domestic product shrank almost 2 per cent compared to the final quarter of 2016, according to an advance estimate, as both manufacturing and services fell back into contraction.
The quarter-on-quarter fall of 1.9 per cent – published by the Ministry of Trade and Industry and calculated largely on the basis of data from the first two months of the year – looks to snap a winning streak after two straight quarters of GDP growth. That was in line with a median estimate from economists polled by Reuters, but down from growth of 11.5 per cent in Q4.
However, the early growth reading showed Q1 GDP rose 2.5 per cent from a year prior, edging out expectations by 0.1 percentage points.
In quarter-on-quarter terms, the headline growth rate was pulled down by a 6.6 per cent fall in manufacturing and a 2.2 per cent contraction in services, after those sectors grew 39.8 per cent and 8.4 per cent in the previous quarter. But construction activity picked up from 0.8 per cent growth in the December quarter to register a 5.4 per cent rise in Q1.
In year-on-year terms GDP was bolstered by a 6.6 per cent rise in manufacturing activity, though this was down from annualised growth of 11.5 per cent in the fourth quarter. Services notched a 0.5 percentage point rise to 1.5 per cent growth, while construction activity contracted 1.1 per cent from a year prior.