Singapore’s economy gross domestic product (GDP) grew 1.3 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said on Tuesday, higher than the 0.2 percent growth seen in the government’s advance estimate.
However, Singapore struck a cautious note about recovery due to uncertainties from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Manufacturing, finance and insurance, and wholesale trade supported the expansion over the quarter. Analysts had expected a 0.9 percent increase, according to a Reuters poll.
MTI maintained its GDP growth forecast for 2021 at 4 to 6 percent so far, but warned of a larger-than-usual degree of uncertainty caused by the pandemic as well as new domestic curbs against the virus. The outlook will be reviewed in August.
While it is possible that the Singapore economy will outperform the growth forecast for 2021 if external demand exceeds expectations, there are also significant downside risks, said Gabriel Lim, permanent secretary for trade and industry.
“The pace of recovery of the various sectors of the economy is likely to be more uneven than earlier expected,” he said.
On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted basis, the economy expanded 3.1 percent in the first quarter.