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Singapore GDP surprises with 1.8% full-year growth in 2016

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The health of the Singapore economy surprised many - even the government itself - with a full-year growth for 2016 of 1.8 per cent, advance estimates released by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) on Tuesday morning show.

THE health of the Singapore economy surprised many - even the government itself - with a full-year growth for 2016 of 1.8 per cent, advance estimates released by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) on Tuesday morning show.

This also meant that it averted a technical recession in the fourth quarter as manufacturing output surged. It grew a steady 9.1 per cent on an annualised basis from the previous quarter. It had shrunk by 1.9 per cent in the third quarter. On a year-on-year basis, the economy grew by 1.8 per cent in Q4, better than the 1.2 per cent in Q3.

Manufacturing grew by 6.5 per cent year-on-year in the fourth quarter, or a 14.6 per cent quarter-on-quarter growth.

These numbers came in stronger than the government's expectations. It earlier had put full-year growth in 2016 to be between 1 to 1.5 per cent. Just three days ago, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in his New Year speech that it would grow "one-plus per cent" in 2016.

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A poll of economists by Reuters put the median forecast for Q4 quarterly growth at 3.7 per cent.

Fuller estimates of Q4 and full-year 2016 growth will be released in February 2017.

For 2017, MTI previously forecasted full-year growth to be between 1 and 3 per cent.

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