Despite talks of a technical recession, Singapore's economy grew by 1.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, after contracting 6.3 percent in the previous quarter. It also expanded at a modest pace of 1.1 percent on a year-on-year basis in the fourth quarter, an improvement from the flat growth in the previous quarter.
For the entire 2012, the economy is estimated to have expanded by 1.2 percent. This is slightly lower than the Ministry of Trade and Industry's growth forecast of around 1.5 percent, as weakness in the manufacturing sector continued to weigh down on the economy.
On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the manufacturing sector contracted by an annualised rate of 10.8 percent, extending the 9.9 percent decrease in the previous quarter. This largely reflected the continued weakness in the output of the electronics cluster.
On a year-on-year basis, the sector contracted by 1.5 percent in the fourth quarter, following the 1.6 percent fall in the previous quarter.
The construction sector grew by 5.9 percent on-year, moderating from the 7.7 percent growth in the preceding quarter.