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     FrontPage Edition: Fri 25 Nov 2005

Performance of Singapore Economy in 3rd Quarter 2005



Overall Performance
Growth of the Singapore economy accelerated to 7.0% in 3Q05, from 5.4% in 2Q05. This brings economic growth in the first three quarters of 2005 to 5.1%.
The growth momentum (on an annualised quarter-on-quarter basis) was 7.1% in 3Q05, compared with 19% a quarter earlier.

Sources of Growth
Total demand rose by 8.7% in 3Q05, following a gain of 6.8% a quarter earlier. This reflected stronger contributions from both external and domestic demand.
Growth of external demand rose to 11%, from 9.6% in 2Q05. Stronger export performance of both goods and services underpinned this improvement.
Total domestic demand grew by 1.1%, compared with a contraction of 1.6% in the previous three-month period. The turnaround reflected mainly a smaller drawdown in business inventory, compared with the same quarter in 2004. This raised the contribution of inventory changes to economic growth.

Sectoral Performance
In 3Q05, manufacturing activity expanded at more than twice the rate in 2Q05. The services industries registered gains similar to those a quarter earlier. (See Annex).
GROWTH IN THE MANUFACTURING SECTOR leapt to 13%, from 6.4% in 2Q05. A surge in biomedical output accounted for much of this improvement. In 3Q05, growth in the biomedical cluster rose to 62%, from 2.8% in 2Q05.
Modest improvements were also seen in the chemicals and precision engineering clusters during the quarter. Rates of growth, however, eased in the electronics, transport engineering and general manufacturing clusters. Reflecting weaker gains in production of data storage devices, growth of electronics output came in at a lower 2.9%, compared with 4.9% a quarter ago.

THE CONSTRUCTION SECTOR registered growth of 0.5% in 3Q05, compared with a decline of 1.3% in 2Q05.
The positive growth rate, however, reflected mainly the low base in the same quarter last year, as growth momentum on a seasonally-adjusted quarter-on-quarter basis remained negative. Continued weakness in the sector was also reflected by declines in certified payments and contracts awarded, by 1.7% and 9.1% respectively.

THE WHOLESALE AND RETAIL TRADE SECTOR expanded by 8.0% in 3Q05, following a gain of 8.7% in 2Q05.
Entrepot trade remained robust in the quarter, with non-oil re-exports growing 12%. Domestic trade improved further. Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales grew by 7.9% after a smaller gain of 7.5% in 2Q05. Slower growth in the motor vehicles segment, however, led to a moderation of overall retail sales growth to 9.9%, from 12% a quarter earlier.

Source: Press Release 17 Nov 2005

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