In the wake of the pandemic, Singapore’s economy struggles to gain robust traction, demonstrating a mere 0.7% growth in the third quarter of 2023 on a year-on-year basis, as per the advance estimates from the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI).
While a 1.0% expansion was seen on a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted basis, faster than the preceding quarter’s 0.1%, different sectors of the economy showed contrasting trajectories.
The manufacturing sector shrank by 5.0% YoY, even while making a tepid 0.2% recovery on a quarter-to-quarter basis.
The construction sector, despite expanding by 6.0% YoY, reflected a moderated quarter-on-quarter growth of 0.6%, hinting at potential stability issues ahead as it witnessed a deceleration in growth from the second quarter’s 7.7%.
Service Sectors: A Mixed Bag of Performances
The services sectors painted a varied picture. The wholesale & retail trade and transportation & storage sectors collectively expanded by 0.6% year-on-year, with the fuels & chemicals and air transport segments being key drivers in their respective sectors.
Conversely, a 0.1% contraction was recorded on a quarter-on-quarter basis, reverting from a 3.0% expansion in Q2.
Meanwhile, the group, including information & communications, finance & insurance, and professional services, witnessed a 1.5% expansion year-on-year, with notable contributions from the IT & information services and architectural & engineering segments.
However, the finance & insurance sector experienced a contraction, primarily due to a weaker performance in the banking and insurance segments. On a quarter-to-quarter basis, this group’s growth moderated to 0.7% from the previous quarter’s 1.1%.
In the remaining services sector, comprising accommodation & food services, real estate, administrative & support services, and others, a year-on-year growth of 4.7% was recorded, with a particularly strong showing from the accommodation sector due to a recovery in international visitor arrivals. Moreover, a quarter-on-quarter growth of 1.4% was noted, accelerating from 0.4% in Q2.
While the mixed results across various sectors indicate the complexities faced by the economy, these preliminary GDP estimates underscore the subtle dynamism underlying Singapore’s economic trajectory amidst global challenges.
Further insights and detailed analyses on sectoral performances, sources of growth, inflation, employment, and productivity will be unveiled in the Economic Survey of Singapore, slated for release in November 2023.
A closer examination into Singapore’s Q3 2023 economic performance reveals a troubling panorama beneath the modest 0.7% growth, as all sectors have experienced a year-on-year decline when compared to Q3 2022 figures, notwithstanding the exit from the pandemic in February this year.
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