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Singapore economy grows by 1.8% in Q1, largely within expectations

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Headline growth for Singapore's economy in the first quarter of this year was largely within expectations with a 1.8 per cent year-on-year expansion, as manufacturing posted a better showing than predicted earlier while the services sector slipped.

HEADLINE growth for Singapore's economy in the first quarter of this year was largely within expectations with a 1.8 per cent year-on-year expansion, as manufacturing posted a better showing than predicted earlier while the services sector slipped.

On the back of this, the Singapore government is maintaining its forecast of a one to three per cent growth in 2016 for the economy.

Figures released by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) on Wednesday morning showed that full estimates for growth in the three months ended March 31, 2016, slightly fell short of market consensus. An earlier Bloomberg poll with 18 estimates had put growth at 1.9 per cent.

The headline print remained unchanged from flash estimates, which also pipped overall GDP (gross domestic product) growth at 1.8 per cent. Manufacturing saw a one per cent year-on-year contraction with Wednesday's figures, better than the estimated 2 per cent shrink earlier. Services-producing industries grew by 1.4 per cent, a dip from the 1.9 per cent predicted.

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At the same time, the headline number also meant that growth was unchanged from previous quarters. The third and fourth quarters of 2015 both grew by 1.8 per cent. Full-year growth in 2015 was at 2 per cent.

On a quarter-on-quarter basis, however, Wednesday's number showed that the economy has barely grown from the preceding quarter. It grew by 0.2 per cent on a seasonally adjusted, annualised basis, as compared to 6.2 per cent in the final quarter of 2015.

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