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Singapore’s economy is Asia’s fastest in 2010

Singapore: Singapore’s GDP is estimated to have expanded a record 14.7 percent in 2010, making it Asia’s fastest growing economy in the world. The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), Singapore, had forecast a growth of about 15 percent for the year.

Interestingly, the numbers also make the island nation the second fastest growing economy in the world, just after Qatar, according to the International Monetary Fund estimates.

Strongly supported by the expansion of the manufacturing sector, Singapore’s GDP in the last quarter of 2010 grew by a big margin of 12.5 percent compared to the 10.5 percent recorded in the third quarter. The manufacturing sector grew by a huge margin of 28.2 percent for the last quarter on a year-to-year basis which is way above 13.8 percent expansion in the third quarter.

This 14.7 percent growth is the country’s fastest in its 45-year history since independence, topping a 13.8% expansion in 1970.

However, while the manufacturing sector was one of the main drivers of the fast growth of the island nation’s economy, the construction sector contracted by 1.2 percent on a year-on-year basis in the fourth quarter. In the third quarter, the construction sector had grown 7.1 percent.

In his New Year message to the nation, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had reiterated the government’s 2011 GDP growth forecast of between 4 percent and 6 percent.

“We should rejoice in this exceptional performance, but please remember that it is also the result of special circumstances, and so is unlikely to be repeated soon,” Lee said.

While flagging concerns about the weakness in the US economy and the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, the Prime Minister said he was hopeful “Asia will continue to do well despite the weakness in developed countries, and create a favourable regional environment for Singapore.”

Nevertheless, economists in the country are confident the likely economic recovery in the US will help the nation’s industry in the coming year.

The US is Singapore’s biggest trading partner.

In February, the MTI will release the preliminary GDP estimates for the fourth quarter and for the whole of 2010. The will include performances by sectors, sources of growth, inflation, employment and productivity.

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