On Monday morning, the Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry reported that, based on advance projections, the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) dropped by 5.8 percent year-on-year for the whole of 2020, compared to 0.7 percent growth in 2019.
The economy of Singapore contracted by 3.8 percent year on year for the fourth quarter of 2020, an improvement from the 5.6 percent contraction reported in the third quarter. On a seasonally adjusted quarter-on-quarter basis, the economy expanded by 2.1 percent, following the third quarter’s 9.5 percent growth.
Singapore’s manufacturing sector grew by 7.1 percent in 2020 in a breakdown. It grew year on year by 9.5 percent but contracted in the fourth quarter by 2.6 percent quarter on quarter.
The ministry credits the year-on-year growth of the sector to production expansions in the clusters of electronics, biomedical manufacturing and precision engineering, which outweighed output reductions in the clusters of transport engineering and general manufacturing.
In 2020, the building sector contracted 33.7 percent. It contracted by 28.5 percent year on year but grew in the fourth quarter of last year by 34.4 percent quarter on quarter.
Meanwhile, in 2020, Singapore’s enterprises generating services contracted by 7.8 percent. The services generating industries decreased by 6.8 percent year on year for the fourth quarter but increased 2.4 percent quarter on quarter.
According to the ministry, the advanced GDP estimate published on Monday was computed largely from data for the first two months of the fourth quarter of 2020. These estimates are intended to be an early indicator of quarterly GDP growth and are subject to revision as more detailed data is available.
The ministry has announced that this February it will announce the preliminary GDP estimates for the fourth quarter and the whole of 2020.
UOB economist Barnabas Gan said that despite seeing a full-year contractionin 2020, the Singapore economy had continued to improve since the trough in Q2 2020.