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Singapore's growth drops to 10-year low

SINGAPORE – Singapore's economy grew 0.1% in April and June from a year earlier, making it the lowest rate in 10 years as trade tensions between the United States and China hit manufacturers of electronic and other products, according to preliminary data released Friday by the government.

The latest growth rate of real gross domestic product was lower than the 1.1% recorded between January and March, and the lowest since the April-June quarter of 2009 (minus 1.2%) when the world was hit by the financial crisis.

This set of results shows the widening of the growth gap between the beneficiaries of Southeast Asia and the victims of the trade war. Vietnam, the fastest-growing country that appears to benefit from manufacturers' production decline relative to China, posted 6.7% GDP growth in the second quarter compared to a year ago and slightly lower than 6.8% in the previous quarter.

Other countries in South-East Asia have not yet released their second-quarter figures, but the latest quarterly consensus survey conducted by the Japan Center for Economic Research and Nikkei in June indicated an expansion of 5.9% for the Philippines, 5.1% for Indonesia and 4.4%. for Malaysia and 2.7% for Thailand for a year.

A year ago, between April and June, GDP growth in the six countries fell between 4.2% and 6.7%.

Singapore's manufacturing sector, which accounts for 20% of the economy, contracted 3.8% between April and June. Singapore is a key production and export center for high-end electronics products such as semiconductors.

"The contraction is due to the drop in production in the clusters of electronics and precision mechanics, which more than offset the increases in output in the rest of the manufacturing cluster," said Friday. Singapore Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

The construction sector grew 2.2%, supported by an increase in public sector construction activity, while the services sector grew 1.2%.

Official statistics had already shown signs of a serious slowdown in manufacturing in the second quarter of 2019. Singapore's non-oil domestic benchmark exports fell by 15.9% in May compared to a year ago .

The government said last month that it was considering the growth forecast of 1.5% to 2.5% for this year to reflect the downside risks.

"Currently, year-round forecasts are based on stabilizing the economy in the third quarter of 2019, with a modest recovery thereafter," said Ravi Menon, chief executive of the Monetary Authority of Canada. Singapore on June 27th.

"But the strength of this recovery, given the less favorable external environment and the ongoing trade conflict, is unlikely to make up for the weakness of the first half of the year, and the risks of deterioration have clearly increased," he said. he declares.

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