Singapore's economy grows 4.9% in Q1

Singapore's economy grew 4.9 per cent in the first three months of the year over a year ago, lower than the 5.1 per cent previously estimated, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said on Tuesday, May 20, 2014. -- ST FILE PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI  
Singapore's economy grew 4.9 per cent in the first three months of the year over a year ago, lower than the 5.1 per cent previously estimated, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said on Tuesday, May 20, 2014. -- ST FILE PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI  

Singapore's economy grew 4.9 per cent in the first three months of the year over a year ago, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said on Tuesday.

It added that it will maintain its forecast that the economy will grow 2 to 4 per cent for the whole year.

Tuesday's numbers used 2010 prices as a base, instead of the 2005 prices used previously.

The manufacturing sector grew 9.8 per cent in the first quarter over a year ago, accelerating from the 7 per cent growth in the previous quarter, the MTI said in a statement on Tuesday.

"This was largely driven by a sharp rebound in the biomedical manufacturing cluster, as well as stronger growth in the chemicals and transport engineering clusters," the MTI said.

The services sector saw slower growth of 4.4 per cent in the quarter, down from 5.3 per cent a year ago, as expansion in the wholesale and retail trade, transportation and storage and finance and insurance segments moderated.

The pace of growth in the construction sector also slowed, to 6.7 per cent in the first quarter over a year ago, from 7.3 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year over the previous year.

Compared to the fourth quarter of last year, the economy expanded 2.3 per cent in the first quarter of this year, easing from the 6.9 per cent growth in the fourth quarter of last year over the preceding quarter.