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     FrontPage Edition: Thu 11 August 2005

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Performance of Singapore Economy in 2nd Quarter 2005


Overall Performance
Growth of the Singapore economy rose to 5.2% in 2Q05, from 2.7% in 1Q05. The growth momentum (on an annualised quarter-on-quarter basis) accelerated to 18.0%, compared to a contraction of 4.6% in 1Q05.

Sources of Growth
After growing 8.3% in 1Q05, total demand eased slightly to 7.5% in 2Q05. Growth of external demand slowed marginally to 10.8% in 2Q05, from 12.3% in the previous quarter.
While services exports continued to expand strongly, growth of merchandise exports moderated. Total domestic demand contracted by a smaller 2.0%, compared to 2.7% in 1Q05. This largely reflected a smaller decline in private investment spending as well as a reduced drawdown of inventories.
Sectoral Performance
In 2Q05, only the transport & communications sector recorded slower growth. All the other major sectors registered better growth (see Annex).

Manufacturing saw an increase of 5.9% in output during 2Q05, up from 3.4% in the first quarter. A recovery in biomedical output and stronger showing in precision engineering and transport engineering contributed to the better performance.
Electronics growth came in at 4.4% from 11.0% due to declines in the semiconductors and computer peripherals segment. Biomedical reversed a fall of 18.3% in 1Q05 to grow by 2.9%. Growth in the chemicals cluster eased to 0.7%, from 6.5% in 1Q05.

The Construction Sector fell by 0.5% in 2Q05, an improvement over the decline of 5.6% in 1Q05. Certified payments rose 1.3% in 2Q05, following a 3.1% gain in 1Q05. After registering a 57.9% jump in 1Q05, contracts awarded declined by 36.8% in 2Q05.
In the first half of 2005, the certified payments in the civil engineering and commercial segment grew, while that within institutional, residential and industrial segments contracted.

The Wholesale & Retail Trade Sector expanded by 8.3% in 2Q05, better than the 6.9% clocked in 1Q05. The increase came on the back of a 10.4% gain in non-oil re-exports for 2Q05.
Domestic trade maintained its growth in the quarter as retail sales expanded by 11.3%, after a 6.1% gain in 1Q05. Motor vehicle sales remained an important source of growth. Retail sales excluding motor vehicles grew by 6.9% in 2Q05 compared to the 5.2% clocked in the previous quarter.

Hotels & Restaurants registered a 5.3% gain in output during 2Q05, compared to 2.4% in 1Q05. On the back of strong growth in regional visitors from Vietnam, Philippines, India, Thailand and Taiwan, visitor arrivals grew by 7.9%.
Such growth supported an improvement in average hotel occupancy rate and average room rate. Similarly, cess-paying establishments also reported a 17.8% increase in revenue compared to the same quarter last year.

Source: Ministry of Trade & Industry Press Release 10 Aug 2005

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