World Economy

Singapore Growth to Dip to 1.9%

Singapore Growth to Dip to 1.9%Singapore Growth to Dip to 1.9%

Singapore is poised to end the year with a 1.9% economic growth, slightly lower than the 2% expansion in 2016. This is despite the strong 2.5% GDP growth print in Q1. According to BMI Research, this is due to Singapore being a trade-dependent economy.

“Singapore’s external outlook is heavily dependent on the global environment and we expect the global geopolitical climate to remain uncertain amid risks stemming from Brexit and a possible rise in global trade protectionism,” BMI Research noted, CNA reported.

This will, in turn, negatively impact the city-state’s various sectors, resulting in an uneven performance in the economy. External uncertainty will also weigh on the employment outlook, with wages increases likely to remain weak amid the ongoing restructuring of the labor market.

“However, the government’s forward-looking 2017 budget is likely to lead to continued investment in various sectors in a bid to move up the value chain and increase productivity. This, in addition to the robust global demand for semiconductors, will cap excessive weakness,” the firm explained.

In terms of production approach, growth was uneven across the three main sectors, with manufacturing outperforming in the past quarter with a 6.6% expansion.

BMI believes that the uncertain global outlook will weigh on Singapore’s manufacturing sector, with the small and open economy being highly dependent on a stable environment for its economic prosperity.

Meanwhile, Singapore is ramping up investments and initiatives in artificial intelligence and data science—two key frontiers of technology—in its bid to become both a smart nation and an innovation capital.

On Wednesday, the Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim announced two initiatives launched by Singapore’s National Research Foundation, in collaboration with various local agencies.

First, a national program called AI.SG from a partnership between six government agencies: the NRF, the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office in the prime minister’s office, the Economic Development Board, the Infocomm Media Development Authority, SGInnovate and the Integrated Health Information Systems.

The minister added that the three focus areas of application for AI.SG were finance, city management solutions and healthcare.

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