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Singapore economy grows faster than expected in Q4, full-year 2016

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Lifted by a strong December performance, the Singapore economy grew faster than expected in the fourth quarter and for the whole year of 2016.

LIFTED by a strong December performance, the Singapore economy grew faster than expected in the fourth quarter and for the whole year of 2016.

It grew by 2.9 per cent year on year in the three months ended Dec 31, 2016, faster than the 1.2 per cent in the previous quarter, said the Ministry of Trade and Industry on Friday morning. Economists polled by Bloomberg had expected a 2.5 per cent growth.

In quarter-on-quarter terms, Q4 2016 saw a 12.3 per cent expansion, a turnaround from the 0.4 per cent decline in Q3.

This brought 2016's full-year growth to 2 per cent,

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This is better than flash estimates of 1.8 per cent, which otherwise would have made 2016 the worst year since 2009 in the throes of the financial crisis when it shrank by 0.6 per cent. 2015 full-year growth has been revised slightly downwards to 1.9 per cent from an earlier 2 per cent.

These numbers beat earlier flash estimates put out by the government in early January. The numbers, based mainly on October and November data, showed a 1.8 per cent year-on-year growth for Q4 and a 1.8 per cent growth for the whole year.

Manufacturing was the star performer in the final quarter and for the whole year. It registered an 11.5 per cent year-on-year growth in Q4 and 3.6 per cent for the whole year - a faster expansion than the rest of the economy.

This faster expansion was previewed by a 21.3 per cent year-on-year surge in factory output in December, earlier data show. This indicator is closely linked to gross domestic product for the manufacturing sector.

The construction sector shrank by 2.8 per cent year-on-year in Q4, and grew by a mere 0.2 per cent for the whole year.

The services sector grew by one per cent year on year for Q4 and also for the whole of 2016.

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