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Economists estimate Singapore GDP grew 0.8% for Q4 2019

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Singapore's economy is forecast to have expanded at a slightly faster pace in the fourth quarter, with economists expecting the services sector to compensate for a prolonged manufacturing slowdown.

Singapore

SINGAPORE'S economy is forecast to have expanded at a slightly faster pace in the fourth quarter, with economists expecting the services sector to compensate for a prolonged manufacturing slowdown.

Gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to have expanded 0.8 per cent from the same period a year earlier, according to the median of nine economists' estimates. The economy grew 0.5 per cent in July-September.

Singapore's export-oriented economy has been hit hard this year by the drawn-out trade war between the US and China as well as a cyclical downturn in the electronics sector.

"The fourth-quarter advance estimate is expected to pick up mainly on the back of stronger growth in construction and services (finance, tourism-related and business services) sectors, which will offset the continued weakness in the manufacturing sector," said Maybank Kim Eng economists.

Q4 GDP is forecast to have grown 0.4 per cent quarter-on-quarter, on a seasonally adjusted and annualised basis, according to the median of seven forecasts.

That is slower than the 2.1 per cent expansion in the third quarter when the economy comfortably avoided a recession forecast by some analysts.

Last week, data showed that Singapore's industrial output crashed in November, marking its biggest drop in four years, after rising in the previous two months.

"Our 2020 GDP growth forecast for the Singapore economy remains at 1-2 per cent year-on-year, predicated on a modest manufacturing recovery with the services and construction sectors providing the growth bulwark," said OCBC economist Selena Ling. She forecast 2019 GDP growth of about 0.5 per cent.

Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry will release the advance GDP estimates for the fourth quarter and the whole year 2019 on Thursday morning. REUTERS