Singapore GDP slows in 2018Q4 amid US-Sino trade tensions

Singapore's economy grew more slowly than forecast in the last quarter of 2018 after the manufacturing sector shrank, said a report by Reuters.

This added to concerns that a trade dispute between the United States and China will drag on growth in 2019.

In the coming months, rising trade protectionism and uncertainty over US-China relations are key risks for Singapore. This is despite the fact that impact from the trade frictions have so far had only a limited impact on its small and open economy, said Reuters.

Photo: Connected to India
Photo: Connected to India

Singapore's trade-reliant economy grew 1.6 percent in the October-December quarter from the previous three months on an annualised and seasonally adjusted basis. This was slower than expectations, said the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said in a statement on Wednesday, January 2.

The manufacturing sector shrank 8.7 percent on a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualised basis, according to data from MTI. This reverses from the 3.1 percent growth in the third quarter.

The economy grew 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter, compared to a year earlier. The figure fell short of the median forecast of 2.3 percent in a Reuters survey and a revised 2.3 percent growth in the third quarter.

Overall for 2018, Singapore's economy expanded 3.3 percent, slowing from a three-year high of 3.6 per cent the prior year. The government's forecast for 2018 growth had been 3.0 to 3.5 per cent.