Singapore’s economy expanded slightly less than expected in the fourth quarter of last year, according to official figures released on Monday, and the government maintained its prediction for annual growth of 0.5% to 2.5% this year.
“Singapore’s external demand outlook for 2023 has improved slightly. In particular, growth in China is projected to pick up in tandem with the faster-than-expected easing of its COVID-19 restrictions,” said Gabriel Lim, permanent secretary for trade and industry.
The fourth-quarter GDP expanded 2.1% year on year, according to the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), slightly lower than the 2.2% growth in the government’s preliminary estimate due to weaker construction and service sector growth.
According to a Reuters survey, analysts projected a 2.3% gain.
GDP increased 3.6% year on year, compared to an early 3.8% forecast.
Singapore had eased most of the COVID-19 restrictions since April of last year, with major international events coming to the city-state, drawing visitors and companies. The remaining limitations will be lifted beginning Monday.
The Asian financial centre anticipates that the tourist sector will recover to pre-pandemic levels by 2024.
Singapore has seen some signs of pricing pressures lessening in recent months, although inflation remains high at above 5%.
The present monetary policy stance of the central bank remains appropriate, according to Edward Robinson, Deputy Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The next policy meeting is scheduled for April.