Singapore's GDP grew by 2% in Q4 of 2015

SINGAPORE -Singapore's fourth-quarter gross domestic product expanded 5.7 per cent from the previous quarter on an annualised basis, exceeding expectations on the back of growth in services and construction.

For 2015 as a whole, GDP grew 2.1 per cent, slowing from 2.9 per cent in 2014 and the weakest annual growth since 2009, when the economy was hit by the global financial crisis and contracted 0.6 per cent.

The growth was slightly faster than third quarter's 1.8 per cent. 

The advanced estimates released by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) on Monday morning shows the growth for Q4 2015 was stronger than expected. in line with MTI's earlier announced GDP growth forecast of "close to 2.0 per cent".

Manufacturing sector contracted

The manufacturing sector contracted by 6.0 per cent on a year-on-year basis in the fourth quarter, extending the 5.9 per cent decline in the previous quarter.

The sector was primarily weighed down by a decline in the output of the electronics, transport engineering and precision engineering clusters. On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the sector contracted at an annualised rate of 3.1 per cent, following the 3.5 per cent contraction in the preceding quarter

The construction sector expanded by 2.2 per cent on a year-on-year basis in the fourth quarter, an improvement from the 1.1 per cent growth recorded in the previous quarter.

Growth was supported by a pick-up in public sector construction activities. On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualised basis, the sector expanded by 7.0 per cent, a reversal from the 4.9 per cent contraction in the preceding quarter.

Growth in the services producing industries came in at 3.2 per cent on a yearon-year basis in the fourth quarter, easing slightly from the 3.4 per cent growth in the previous quarter, supported mainly by the wholesale & retail trade and finance & insurance sectors.

MTI will release the preliminary GDP estimates for the fourth quarter and the whole of 2015, including performance by sectors, sources of growth, inflation, employment and productivity, in its Economic Survey of Singapore in February 2016.