UpdateSingapore economy up 6.1% in Q3, 5% growth seen in ’11

21 November 2011 05:23  [Source: ICIS news]

(adds analyst's comments, recasts throughout)

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Singapore’s economy grew by 6.1% year on year in the third quarter of 2011 because of strong expansion in the manufacturing sector and is expected to grow by around 5% for the full year, official statistics showed on Monday.

On a seasonally adjusted quarter-on-quarter annualised basis, the economy grew by 1.9% after a 6.4% contraction in the preceding quarter, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI).

The city-state’s manufacturing sector expanded by 14.2% year on year in the third quarter, after contracting by 5.6% in the preceding quarter, MTI said.

“This was largely due to a rebound in biomedical manufacturing output as some companies switched to producing a higher value mix of pharmaceutical products,” the statement added.

However, MTI cautioned that growth for the fourth quarter is likely to weaken in line with deteriorating external macroeconomic conditions and it is expecting a growth of around 5% for the full year from a previous estimate of 5-6%.

“A lot really depends on how the economic situations in the US and the eurozone pan out and the policy responses,” Singapore-based DBS Group Research said.

MTI is expecting to see a pullback in growth in the biomedical manufacturing cluster after a strong surge in the third quarter.

“Output in the pharmaceutical segment has been above the norm for the last few months and some plants are due to shift to different product mixes, which would require temporary shutdowns in their productions,” said DBS Group Research.

“With the current slump in the electronics industry as well as the effect of the Shell refinery fire, a sharp drop in manufacturing growth in the fourth quarter appears to be on the cards,” DBS Group Research added.

For 2012, MTI forecasts the city-state’s economic growth to be at 1-3% as a result of modest performance from the biomedical manufacturing cluster on an increase in the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients and biologics.

Paul Hodges studies key influencers shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy

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