Singapore fastest growing economy

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Singapore: Singapore’s economy grew 12.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010, a record year in which the city state was Asia’s strongest economic performer, government figures showed on January 3.

Singapore grew 14.7 percent for the year as a whole, the figures confirmed, bounding back from a 1.3 percent contraction in 2009 in part thanks to the biomedical sector.

“At 14.7 percent, Singapore is the fastest growing Asian economy in 2010,” said Alvin Liew, an economist with Standard Chartered Bank based in the city.

Globally, only Qatar is thought to have grown faster, with growth in the energy-rich Gulf economy projected at 16 percent for 2010, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Within Asia, economic powerhouse China is forecast to grow by around 10 percent this year.

Last year’s growth was Singapore’s best ever economic performance, surpassing the previous record of 13.8 percent set in 1970 and within the government’s projected range of 13-15 percent.

Growth in the October-December quarter was powered largely by the manufacturing sector, which expanded 28.2 percent from a year ago, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said in a statement.

Strength in manufacturing, which accounts for a quarter of gross domestic product (GDP), cushioned the impact of a 1.2 percent decline in construction activity.

Manufacturing growth “was led by the biomedical manufacturing cluster, which saw a strong rebound in pharmaceutical output,” the Ministry said.

For the service sector, which accounts for 65 percent of Singapore’s GDP, output surged 8.8 percent in the fourth quarter.

 

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