Singapore’s Economy Gains 3.8% as Construction Rebounds By Bloomberg

© Bloomberg. A crane standing at the construction site is silhouetted at dusk in Singapore, on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016. Singapore is currently mired in its most prolonged housing slump on record. Home prices in the city-state fell for the 11th straight quarter in the three months ending June 30, posting the longest losing streak since records started in 1975. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) — Singapore’s economy grew at a faster pace in the first quarter than the government previously estimated, a sign of the city state’s resilience in the face of weaker global demand and a worsening U.S.-China trade war.

Gross domestic product rose an annualized 3.8% from the prior quarter, higher than the government’s earlier projection of 2% and above the median forecast of 2.3% in a Bloomberg survey of economists. Compared to a year ago, GDP rose 1.2%.

Key Insights

  • Exports in the trade-reliant economy have been hit by a downturn in the global tech cycle and more subdued growth in China. Non-oil shipments plunged 10% in April from a year ago as electronic exports contracted 16.3%, a report last week showed
  • A rebound in construction and solid demand for services helped to underpin growth in the quarter
  • The government narrowed its growth forecast range for 2019 to 1.5% to 2.5%
  • The gloomy trade outlook will weigh on growth, giving the central bank room to ease monetary policy this year, according to Oxford Economics Ltd.’s Sian Fenner, who sees a move at the next scheduled decision in October. The Monetary Authority of Singapore, which uses the exchange rate as its main tool, left its policy stance unchanged in April

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  • In a separate report, Enterprise Singapore lowered its forecast for 2019 non-oil domestic exports to a range of -2% to 0%
  • The Department of Statistics revised previously published data after adopting an annual chain-linked benchmarking methodology to calculate GDP. The move is in line with United Nations’ standards and allows for the data to better reflect changes in the economy. As a result, GDP growth for 2018 was revised to 3.1% from 3.2%

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