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THE Singapore government now expects the economy to grow by 3 per cent this year - at the mid-point of its earlier official forecast of 2.5-3.5 per cent, which had been kept unchanged since August.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) announced on Tuesday morning that Q3 GDP grew a stronger 2.8 per cent year-on-year, thanks to stronger growth in the manufacturing and services sector.
This beat both the initial flash estimate of 2.4 per cent growth, and the market's expectation that this could be raised slightly to 2.5 per cent.
This also means that after seasonal adjustments, and on an annualised basis, the Singapore economy grew 3.1 per cent - better than the flash estimate of a 1.2 per cent expansion. The market had been expecting a revision here too, to 1.5 per cent.
Thanks to growth in the biomedical manufacturing and chemicals clusters, the manufacturing sector expanded 1.9 per cent year-on-year, up from 1.5 per cent in Q2. Growth in the services sector accelerated to 3.4 per cent year-on-year in Q3, up from 2.6 per cent in Q2.
MTI said that this brings GDP growth for the first three quarters of 2014 to 3.3 per cent year-on-year. It expects growth to "ease slightly" for the rest of the year, in line with a projected slowdown in the global economy.
"Externally-oriented sectors such as the manufacturing and transportation & storage sectors are likely to slow, whereas growth in the construction sector will continue to be weighed down by the weakness in private sector construction activities. On the other hand, domestically-oriented sectors like business services are likely to remain resilient," said MTI.