Singapore revised 3Q GDP beats forecasts

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Singapore's economy grew at a stronger-than-expected pace in the third quarter, revised figures showed on Tuesday, easing concerns about the city-state's ability to weather sluggish global growth.

The economy expanded 2.8 percent on year, the revised data showed, above expectations for a 2.5 percent rise in a Reuters poll and up from an advance reading of 2.4 percent released in October. The economy expanded 2.4 percent on year in the second quarter.

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On a quarter-on-quarter annualized basis, the economy expanded 3.1 percent, above expectations for a 1.3 percent expansion and up sharply from an initial reading of 1.2 percent.

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"We believe that the interplay of cyclical and structural forces continues to shape the macro outlook in Singapore. In particular, several cyclical and structural factors mean that Singapore is less able to benefit from the global growth pick-up that [our] global economics team envisaged and our 2014/2015/2016 GDP growth forecasts," Morgan Stanley wrote in a note.

"For one, the relocation of manufacturing capacity from Singapore has affected industrial production and non-oil domestic exports and the impact is likely to stay in the numbers until the base effects peter out next year," it wrote. "Additionally, the prospects of eventual Fed tightening, together with macroprudential tightening measures at home have also taken the wind out of the leverage cycle, with the collateral impact seen in the property market and construction sector."

Following the release, Ow Foong Pheng, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, said the economy is likely to ease in the fourth quarter on a year-on-year basis, in line with the projected slowdown in the global economy.

Singapore's export-dependent economy is heavily dependent on appetite from overseas markets. A slack in global demand, especially from the euro zone, presents a challenge for growth.