Slower growth was mainly explained by services-producing industries (+1.8 percent vs +2.7 percent), as wholesale & retail trade contracted 0.6 percent after growing 1.8 percent in the previous quarter. Also, growth in transportation & storage cooled to 0.5 percent from 1.9 percent in Q3, while accommodation & food services expanded 2.9 percent after a 4.0 percent jump.
In contrast, goods-producing industries expanded 3.8 percent after growing 2.3 percent in the previous three months, with manufacturing expanding 5.1 percent after climbing 3.5 percent. Meantime, construction contracted 1.0 percent after shrinking 2.3 percent.
On a seasonally-adjusted annualized basis economy of Singapore grew 1.4 percent in the three months to December 2018 (vs preliminary 1.6 percent), matching a downwardly revised percent growth in the previous period and missing market consensus of 1.6 percent.
For the whole of 2018, the Singapore economy grew by 3.2 percent, a moderation from the 3.9 percent growth for 2017. In particular, the manufacturing sector rose 7.2 percent compared to 10.4 percent in 2017, amid weaker demand for semiconductors which account for 62 percent of sector production.
For 2019, the MTI maintained the GDP growth forecast at “1.5 to 3.5 percent”, with growth expected to come in slightly below the mid-point of the forecast range.