05/20/2010, 00.00
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Growth reaches record levels, 15.5 per cent in first quarter of 2010

GDP rise exceeds government forecast, driven by US and especially Asian demand. Europe’s debt crisis casts a shadow over the situation. Inflation and a real estate bubble are the main risks.
Singapore (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Singapore’s economy grew 15.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2010 compared to last year, above all expectations, helped by a recovery in manufacturing. The government warned however that some risks loom on the horizon, most notably asset price bubbles in Asia and the fallout from Europe’s debt crisis.

Officials said on Thursday that Singapore’s strong rebound from its worst-ever recession last year will be helped by a broad-based recovery in the United States and buoyant growth in large Asian economies such as China.

Gross domestic product grew 38.6 per cent from the fourth quarter on a seasonally adjusted and annualised basis. By comparison, the city-state’s economy shrunk by 1.3 per cent last year.

The government expects growth to reach 7-9 per cent this year. Optimism is widespread, despite the risks associated with the debt troubles in Europe.

Confidence is also due to positive trends in the region’s main economies. For example, Japan’s economy grew 1.2 per cent in the first quarter, boosted by stimulus-driven consumption and solid exports to Asia.

On the down side, housing prices jumped 5.6 per cent in the first quarter of the year, despite government policies meant to keep a lid on the real estate market.

The government is particularly concerned about a real estate bubble and has introduced new administrative and tax rules to hold the market in check.

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See also
Beijing, housing market collapses: down 50% in one year
Crisis in China: 64 million empty apartments
Chinese growth slowing down again in May, Wen Jiabao voices concerns
Shanghai adopts new measures against real estate speculation
80 percent of Vietnamese cannot afford to buy a home


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