Singapore economy grows 0.2% in first quarter

Singapore's economy grew 0.2 per cent in the first three months of this year compared with the same period a year ago, defying earlier estimates of a 0.6 per cent contraction.

Revealing the final growth numbers on Thursday, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said the services industry had grown much more strongly than previously thought.

The sector grew 2.7 per cent in the first quarter, more than double the 1.2 per cent expansion that had been estimated last month based on data from January and February.

The construction sector also grew in the first quarter, by 7.3 per cent, but the manufacturing sector shrank 6.8 per cent.

Quarter-on-quarter, the overall economy grew 1.8 per cent in the first quarter of this year compared with the fourth quarter of last year.

The Government is maintaining its full-year growth forecast of 1 to 3 per cent this year.