Singapore’s recovery gained pace in the final three months of 2021, pushing the economy to its fastest full-year growth in more than a decade.
Gross domestic product expanded 2.6% on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous three months, according to advance estimates Monday from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, beating a median 2.1% forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists.
That last quarter acceleration helped propel growth for the full year to 7.2%, the fastest since 2010, after a 5.4% contraction in 2020. Economists had forecast an expansion of 7.1%, while the trade ministry in November said it expected “about 7%.”
The Singapore dollar rose 0.1% to 1.3482 to the U.S. dollar as of 08:36 a.m. local time.
“The Singapore economy after a robust 2021 performance is on track for normalization,” said Selena Ling, head of treasury research and strategy at Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp.
After recovering from the worst of the pandemic, the rapid spread of the omicron variant and an economic slowdown in China — Singapore’s largest trading partner — are now clouding the outlook for the city-state, which is highly reliant on global trade.
Still, Singapore appears to be sticking with its gradual reopening path, with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong saying Friday in a New Year’s message that it can be “quietly confident” about coping with the impact of omicron. The Southeast Asian nation expects to grow 3% to 5% this year, Lee said, reiterating an earlier forecast from the trade ministry.
The economy last quarter grew 5.9% from the same period a year ago, the trade ministry also said Monday, compared with a median estimate of 5.1% in a Bloomberg survey.
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