Singapore economy grows 5.1% in Q1

The Singapore economy grew 5.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2014 from the same period last year, boosted by strong growth in manufacturing and construction. -- ST FILE PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
The Singapore economy grew 5.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2014 from the same period last year, boosted by strong growth in manufacturing and construction. -- ST FILE PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - Boosted by strong growth in manufacturing and construction, the Singapore economy grew 5.1 per cent in the first quarter from the same period last year.

This was lower than the 5.5 per cent growth in the fourth quarter of last year over the year before, according to advance estimates released by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said on Monday.

Compared with the fourth quarter last year, the economy grew just 0.1 per cent in the first quarter this year on a seasonally-adjusted annualised basis.

The manufacturing sector expanded a faster 8 per cent in the January to March quarter over a year ago, and 4.5 per cent over the preceding quarter, the MTI said.

This was "largely due to a sharp rebound in biomedical manufacturing output and stronger growth in chemicals output", it added.

Construction grew 6.5 per cent in the first quarter from last year, and jumped 10.7 per cent from the preceding quarter, on the back of more public sector building activity.

Services industries, however, grew at a slower pace of 4.7 per cent in the first quarter over the previous year. Compared with the fourth quarter of last year, this sector shrank 1.8 per cent.

The poorer performance in the services sector was down to slower growth in the wholesale & retail trade and finance & insurance sectors, the MTI said.