Singapore government cautiously positive about 2013 economic outlook

Singapore's economy slowed to a growth of 1.3 percent last year, down from 5.2 percent in 2011

That's mainly due to weakness in the externally-oriented sectors.

For 2013, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) is expecting growth of between 1 and 3 percent

It said that growth in the global economy is likely to remain subdued, despite macroeconomic conditions stablising in recent months.

In the fourth quarter of 2012, the economy posted growth of 3.3 percent quarter-on-quarter, a reversal from the 4.6 percent contraction in the third quarter.

On a year-on-year basis, the economy grew by 1.5 percent, an improvement from the flat growth recorded in the preceding quarter.

The manufacturing sector grew 3.1 percent on a quarter-on-quarter basis, reversing from the 16.6 percent contraction in the previous quarter.

The construction sector contracted by 3.9 percent, mainly due to the decline in private sector building activities.

In the services sector, the wholesale and retail trade grew modestly by 2.3 percent on a quarter-on-quarter basis.

Ow Foong Pheng, MTI's Permanent Secretary:

"Our assessment for Singapore's growth outlook in 2013 is based on modest fiscal cutbacks in the US and no outright crisis in the Eurozone. Against this macroeconomic backdrop, the growth outlook for Singapore remains cautiously positive."