SINGAPORE - Manufacturing continued to lead Singapore's economic growth in the first quarter, but the services sector is fast catching up, based on the latest data by the Ministry of Trade and Industry on Thursday (May 24).
The sector, which was also the key economic growth driver last year, grew 9.8 per cent in Q1 2017 compared to a year ago, faster than the 4.8 per cent growth in the previous quarter.
Growth in manufacturing was mainly driven by the electronics, precision engineering and chemicals clusters.
On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted basis, the sector expanded by 22.1 per cent, a turnaround from the 14.8 per cent contraction in the preceding quarter.
The services sector - which makes up two-thirds of the economy - also grew at a steady clip of 4.1 per cent, up from 3.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2017.
This was primarily supported by the finance and insurance, information and communications, and wholesale and retail trade sectors.
Services is widely expected to overtake manufacturing as the main engine of growth this year.
The construction sector continued to languish, contracting by 5.0 per cent year-on-year, the same pace of decline as in the previous quarter.
This was weighed down by continued weakness in both public sector and private sector construction activities.
But on a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualised basis, the sector grew by 1.7 per cent, reversing the 0.2 per cent contraction in the preceding quarter.