Singapore economy expands at slowest pace since 2009 crisis

Growth was earlier pegged at 2.1 percent but a sharp downturn in manufacturing amid a global slowdown drove growth figures lower.

  • Updated
singapore not to withdra foreign worker levy
People pass the skyline of the central business district in Singapore January 4, 2016 Reuters

The expansion in the fourth quarter stood at 1.8 percent, unchanged from the third quarter, according to figures released by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) on Wednesday.

The ministry had said earlier 2015 growth would be 2.1 percent but a sharp downturn in manufacturing amid a global slowdown drove the growth figures lower.

The MTI said the slowdown in manufacturing was partially offset by growth in wholesale and retail trade, as well as and finance and insurance sectors.

Manufacturing growth shrank 5.2 percent, compared with 2.7 percent increase in the previous year.

Outlook downbeat

The government pegged estimated 2016 growth between 1 percent and 3 percent, which would be the lowest average growth rates over the last ten years.

"The global economic outlook has softened since the start of the year, alongside a sharp fall in oil prices and volatility in global financial markets," MTI said.

"Even though global growth is expected to improve, the continued slowdown in China, the services-driven nature of growth in the US, as well as the trends of in-sourcing in China and the US, may mean that external demand for our exporters may not see a significant boost this year," MTI's Permanent Secretary Ow Foong Pheng said.

"Lower oil prices have weakened the prospects for new rig orders for firms in the marine and offshore segment, and heightened the risks of further deterrents and cancellations of existing orders."

This article was first published on February 24, 2016