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Singapore Lowers 2019 Growth Outlook

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Singapore's economic growth outlook for this year was lowered as the manufacturing sector is set to log a sharp slowdown on weak global demand.

The city-state economy is forecast to grow 1.5 to 2.5 percent in 2019 compared to previous projection of 1.5 to 3.5 percent, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said Tuesday.

The ministry said the global growth outlook remains clouded by uncertainties and downside risks. The manufacturing sector is expected to face strong headwinds on account of a sharper-than-expected downturn in the global electronics cycle, as well as uncertainties arising from the ongoing trade conflicts.

Elsewhere, Enterprise Singapore maintained its total trade growth projection for 2019 at 0 to 2 percent, while non-oil domestic exports growth forecast was downgraded to -2 to 0 percent.

In the first quarter, gross domestic product climbed 1.2 percent year-on-year, following the 1.3 percent expansion seen in the previous quarter, the MTI reported.

Meanwhile, on a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualized basis, the economy expanded 3.8 percent, a reversal from the 0.8 percent contraction in the preceding quarter.

The manufacturing sector shrank 0.5 percent as global demand for semiconductor equipment weakened. On the other hand, construction expanded 2.9 percent, a turnaround from the 1.2 percent decline in the previous three months.

The wholesale and retail trade sector shrank 1.8 percent, while the transportation and storage sector posted 0.8 percent growth. The accommodation & food services sector grew 1.8 percent.

Data showed that the information and communications sector expanded by 6.6 percent and the finance & insurance sector by 3.2 percent. Growth in the business services sector eased to 2.3 percent. The "other services industries" grew at a faster pace of 2.2 percent.

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