|A panoramic view of the Singapore city skyline is seen from the Chinatown in Singapore, on Feb. 22, 2013. Singapore's economic growth slowed to 1.3 percent in 2012 from 5.2 percent in 2011, mainly due to weak external demand, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said on Friday. (Xinhua/Then Chih Wey)
SINGAPORE, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Singapore's economic growth slowed to 1.3 percent in 2012 from 5.2 percent in 2011, mainly due to weak external demand, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said on Friday.
Meanwhile, the non-oil exports of domestic products rose by 0.5 percent in 2012, compared with 2.2 percent in 2011. It also fell short of the government projections announced earlier.
The government agencies maintained their projections of 1 to 3 percent growth for the Singapore economy and 2 to 4 percent growth for non-oil domestic exports.
3.3 PERCENT GROWTH IN Q4
In the fourth quarter last year, the Singapore economy grew by 3.3 percent quarter on quarter, reversing the contraction of 4.6 percent in the third quarter. On a year-on-year basis, the economy expanded by 1.5 percent, after the flat growth in the previous quarter.
The manufacturing sector grew 3.1 percent from the previous quarter, after the contraction of 16.6 percent in the third quarter, largely due to a rebound in the output of biomedical manufacturing and transport engineering clusters.
The construction sector contracted by 3.9 percent, mainly due to a decline in private sector building activities.
In the services sector, the wholesale and retail trade grew by 2.3 percent on a quarter-on-quarter basis.
EXPORT GROWTH SLOWER IN 2012
Singapore's non-oil domestic exports (NODX), a key gauge of the country's export performance, rose by 0.5 percent in 2012, a further slowdown from the increase of 2.2 percent in 2011, according to statistics released on Friday by trade promotion agency International Enterprises Singapore.
It said the growth was largely due to higher shipments of non- electronic exports.
The 0.5 percent growth is lower than the growth of 2 to 3 percent projected by the government, largely due to weaker than expected performance in terms of the non-oil domestic exports in the fourth quarter.
The NODX fell by 4.2 percent in the fourth quarter year on year, compared with the decline of 3.2 percent in the third quarter, on lower shipments of electronic exports which outweighed the rise in non-electronic exports.
Electronic domestic exports decreased by 12.5 percent in the fourth quarter, while non-electronic NODX rose by 0.6 percent.
The total external trade rose by 1.1 percent in 2012, in contrast to the growth of 8 percent in the previous year.
GROWTH PROJECTIONS MAINTAINED
International Enterprises Singapore said the total trade in 2013 is projected to grow by 3 to 5 percent, while the growth projection for non-oil domestic exports is maintained at 2 to 4 percent.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry is also maintaining its projection for an economic growth between 1 and 3 percent for Singapore, as growth in the global economy is likely to remain subdued despite macroeconomic conditions stabilizing in recent months.
Singapore government officials have said economic growth may be slower in the coming decade amid efforts for economic restructuring to reduce reliance on foreign labor and boost the productivity of the local workforce. The government has said that it will invest more resources in raising the productivity of the local workforce, with the long-term goal of growing productivity by 2 to 3 percent a year.
A recent white paper on the population policy in Singapore has led to debates about the immigration and foreign labor policies in Singapore, adding to pressure on the government to further tighten immigration policies.