SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Singapore is keeping its 2.0-4.0% growth target for this year on expectations of modest improvement in the global economy but uncertainties remain, the country’s Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said on Tuesday.
“In tandem with the gradual improvement in the global economy, externally-oriented sectors such as manufacturing and wholesale trade are likely to provide support to growth,” the MTI said in a statement.
“Domestically-oriented sectors such as business services are also expected to remain stable,” it said.
Singapore expanded at a 4.9% year-on-year pace in the first quarter, backed by a 9.8% increase in manufacturing output and a 6.7% growth in the construction sector, the MTI said.
The country is home to a major regional petrochemical hub in Jurong lsland, where global energy giants, such as Shell and ExxonMobil, have manufacturing operations.
The ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) economies, to which Singapore belongs, are expected to “remain resilient, supported by robust domestic demand”, the MTI said.
“In China, there is a risk that policy moves to rein in credit growth may lead to unintended consequences, such as a sharper-than-expected economic slowdown, if they are not well calibrated,” it said.
China – Asia’s largest and the world’s second-biggest economy – posted a 7.4% growth in the first quarter and is targeting a full-year average expansion of 7.5% this year. In 2013, the economy recorded its slowest growth in 14 years at 7.7%.