Jul 15, 2010

Singapore to be World Fastest Growing Economy in 2010

(Marina Bay Sands - Singapore)
Singapore’s growth accelerated to a record 18.1 percent pace in the first half of 2010, spurring the currency and putting the island on course to overtake China as Asia’s fastest-growing economy this year.

Although coming off a low base, the second quarter number is the highest in the history of the Southeast Asian city-state and far exceeded analyst expectations. If the full-year projection is accurate, it could make Singapore the fastest-growing major emerging market economy in the world this year.

Singapore, which has the highest percentage of millionaires in the world, is the first Asian economy to announce GDP results for the April-to-June quarter. The tiny island nation is often seen as a barometer of world demand because of its economy, built on manufacturing and financial services is one of the most export-reliant in Asia.

Manufacturing in the April-June quarter recorded explosive growth of 45.5 percent compared with a year earlier.
"Growth was driven by a surge in the output of biomedical manufacturing, as well as a strong expansion in electronics underpinned by healthy worldwide demand," the trade and industry ministry said in a statement.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, speaking to reporters at the end of an official visit to the US, attributed the rebound mainly to the success of the two integrated resorts and a sharp increase in pharmaceutical output.

He said the two resorts, which opened early this year, "made a significant difference" this year and boosted tourism to Singapore.

Mr Lee also said Singapore should go into double-digit growth this year. But he tempered sentiments, saying that this is an exceptional year.

The new forecast of 13- 15 per cent, up sharply from earlier predicted 7-9 per cent growth, outstrips estimates of around 10 per cent growth in regional powerhouse China and came despite lingering worries over the US economy and Europe's debt crisis.

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