Within the goods producing industries, manufacturing output grew at a softer 4.8 percent, following a 19.1 percent jump in Q3, as the transport engineering and biomedical sectors contracted on account of the poor performance of the marine & offshore engineering segment as well as lower production of active pharmaceutical ingredients and biological products, respectively. On the other hand, the electronics and precision engineering clusters continued to grow supported by healthy global demand for semiconductors, semiconductor equipment, as well as optical products. Construction output, however, shrank by 5 percent after a 9.3 percent contraction in Q3, primarly due to weakness in private sector construction works.
Within the services producing industries, output growth moderated for: finance & insurance (6.3 percent vs 7.1 percent in Q3), amid robust growth in the fund management segment; wholesale & retail trade (3 percent vs 3.3 percent), largely due to improved sales in petroleum & petroleum-related products, telecommunications & computers, and electronic components; and business services (0.4 percent vs 0.5 percent), supported by both the professional services and other segments. At the same time, output expanded faster for: transportation & storage (5.3 percent vs 5.2 percent), driven by water and air transport; accommodation & food services (2.9 percent vs 1.3 percent); information & communications (6 percent vs 5.1 percent), supported by the IT & information services segment; and other services industries (2.7 percent vs 2 percent).
On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualised basis, the GDP rose by 2.1 percent, below the preliminary estimate of 2.8 percent and compared with 11.2 percent in the previous period.
Considering full 2017, the Singapore economy grew by 3.6 percent, faster than 2.4 percent in 2016. The manufacturing sector expanded by 10.1 percent (vs 3.7 percent in 2016), driven by the electronics and precision engineering clusters; and the services producing industries advanced by 2.8 percent, higher than the 1.4 percent growth in 2016, supported by the finance & insurance, wholesale & retail trade, and transportation & storage sectors.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry expects GDP growth for 2018 to come in slightly above the middle of the forecast range of 1.5 to 3.5 percent.