Singapore Q3 GDP shows 1.9% on-quarter growth, beats estimates

Neelabh Chaturvedi
A container vessel docks at the Tanjong Pagar Terminal in Singapore.
Suhaimi Abdullah | Getty Images

Singapore's economy grew at a much faster clip in the third quarter than initially estimated, as an influx of visitors boosted the hospitality and retail sectors.

The economy grew by 1.9 percent on-quarter between in the September quarter, compared with a 2.5 percent contraction in the preceding three months, the Department of Statistics said Wednesday.

The advance estimate released last month showed the economy had eked out a 0.1 percent gain.

The latest reading proves that the export-oriented island-state avoided a technical recession, which is typically defined as two successive quarters in which the economy contracted from the previous three months.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry expects growth to be 2 percent for all of 2015 and it forecasts an economic expansion of between 1 and 3 percent in 2016.

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"While sectors such as finance and insurance and wholesale trade are expected to support growth, the manufacturing sector is likely to remain weak," the Ministry of Trade and Industry said.

"In China, there is a risk that ongoing reforms to rebalance the economy may falter, leading to a significant drop in demand."

The wholesale and retail trade sector grew by 5.3 percent on quarter between July and September , up from 1.1 percent in the second quarter.

A pick-up in tourist arrivals underpinned faster growth in the transportation and storage and accommodation and food sectors, where output expanded by 5.9 percent and 12 percent respectively.

On a year-on-year basis, Singapore's economy also expanded by 1.9 percent, a shade lower than the 2 percent increase in the second quarter but higher than the 1.4 percent increase initially forecast.

Still, the effects of a slowdown in China cast a pall on the manufacturing sector, where output slumped for the second quarter running, although the pace of the contraction slowed.

Construction activity also cooled, falling 1.6 percent from the previous quarter after a feverish 13 percent increase in the second quarter.