The manufacturing sector grew 9.8 percent on a year-on-year basis in the first quarter, faster than the 7.0 percent expansion in the previous quarter. This was largely driven by a sharp rebound in the biomedical manufacturing cluster, as well as stronger growth in the chemicals and transport engineering clusters.
The construction sector expanded by 6.7 percent, slower than the 7.3 percent growth in the preceding quarter, largely due to weakness in private sector construction activities. Growth in the wholesale and retail trade sector slowed to 5.4 percent from 6.4 percent in the previous quarter, weighed down by slower growth in the wholesale trade segment. The finance and insurance sector expanded by 5.4 percent, slower than the 10.5 percent growth in the previous period, mainly due to a slowdown in the sentiment-sensitive cluster. Growth in the business services sector moderated to 3.4 percent from 4.3 percent in preceding quarter, largely due to slower growth in the real estate segment. Accommodation and food services sector decelerated to 0.9 percent from 3.4 percent, due to weaker expansion in the accommodation segment.
On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted annualized basis, the economy expanded 2.3 percent, faster than an initial estimated 0.1 percent expansion.