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April 13, 2021, 11:58 p.m. EDT

Singapore economy grows for first time since 2019

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By Ronnie Harui

SINGAPORE--Singapore's economy swung to growth for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2019, as an expansion in goods-producing industries and manufacturing during the first quarter outweighed contraction in construction and services-producing industries.

The country's gross domestic product expanded 0.2% in the January-to-March period from a year earlier, according to the advance estimate released by the Ministry of Trade and Industry on Wednesday. That compared with the revised 2.4% contraction in the fourth quarter of 2020 and matched the median estimate for 0.2% growth expected by 13 economists in a Wall Street Journal survey.

Goods-producing industries expanded 3.3% in the first quarter compared with 3.9% growth in the fourth quarter. Manufacturing grew 7.5% in the first three months of the year, extending the 10.3% expansion in the fourth quarter.

Construction contracted 20.2% in the first quarter, an improvement from the 27.4% contraction in the fourth quarter. Services-producing industries shrank 1.2% in the first quarter following the 4.7% contraction in the fourth quarter.

On quarter, GDP grew 2.0% in the first quarter on a seasonally adjusted basis. That compared with the revised 3.8% expansion in the fourth quarter and beat the median estimate for 1.6% expansion in a WSJ poll of 10 economists.

Write to Ronnie Harui at ronnie.harui@wsj.com

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