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Weak business services and wholesale & retail trade sector performance hits S'pore Q3 GDP

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Singapore's gdp (gross domestic product) growth in the third quarter of 2016 was dragged down by weak performance from the business services and wholesale and retail trade sectors, even as overall numbers came in generally stronger than earlier estimates.

SINGAPORE'S GDP (gross domestic product) growth in the third quarter of 2016 was dragged down by weak performance from the business services and wholesale and retail trade sectors, even as overall numbers came in generally stronger than earlier estimates.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry's (MTI) fuller estimates for Q3 growth, released on Wednesday morning, portrayed a picture of manufacturing growth surging ahead of the services sectors'.

The services sector's Q3 growth was dragged down by flat year-on-year growth, and shrank 1.3 per cent from Q2 on a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted annualised basis (saar). These were better than a flash estimate in October of a 0.1 per cent fall year on year, and a 1.9 per cent fall quarter on quarter.

In particular, the business services sector expanded by 0.2 per cent year on year, slower than the 0.7 per cent growth in the second quarter. It shrank 0.1 per cent quarter on quarter saar, easing from the decline of 0.7 per cent in the previous quarter.

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The wholesale and retail trade sector contracted by 1.5 per cent year on year, in contrast to the 0.9 per cent growth in the second quarter. On a quarter-on-quarter saar basis, the sector shrank by 2.7 per cent, reversing the 0.1 per cent expansion in the previous quarter.

The manufacturing sector expanded by 1.3 per cent year on year as the electronics and precision engineering clusters strengthened. The earlier estimate, which was largely based on July and August numbers, was a 1.1 per cent decline. Q3's fuller estimates were similar to the 1.4 per cent growth in the preceding quarter. On a quarter on quarter saar basis, the sector shrank 9.1 per cent, reversing the expansion of 2.1 per cent in the second quarter.

Construction was the only sector that fared worse from earlier estimates. It grew by 1.6 per cent year on year, a step down from the earlier 2.5 per cent estimate, and also slower than the 2 per cent growth in the previous quarter. In quarter-on-quarter saar terms, it shrank 0.8 per cent, worse than the 0.5 per cent growth predicted earlier, and also a moderation from Q2's 1.2 per cent growth.

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