07/14/2010, 00.00
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Singapore tops the world with record growth rate

Led by tourism (casino resorts) and exports, the city-state’s economy surges 18.1 per cent in the first half of the year. Markets are optimistic but authorities remain cautious.
Singapore (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Singapore posted 18.1 per cent growth in the first half of the year, the highest in the world, as markets celebrate the city-state’s leading role in Asia. Its economy grew on the back of strong exports but also on tourism-related expansion generated by the opening of two casino resorts.

The Singaporean economy grew 19.3 per cent in the second quarter compared with the same period last year, the biggest rise since records began in 1975.

Exports to Europe surged 75 per cent in June from a year before. Singapore also exported 39 per cent more goods to China and 50 per cent more to Japan last month.

Singapore now expects exports to increase 17-19 per cent this year, due to buoyant demand from China, Indonesia, Malaysia and other Asian countries.

However, the Ministry of Trade and Industry has warned that growth in the second half would be more subdued in the trade-dependent economy because of waning consumer confidence in the US and weak domestic demand in Europe.

Volatility in the pharmaceutical sector is likely to affect performance in the second half after its output increased by about 850 per cent in the second quarter from the previous three months.

The opening of two luxury casino resorts boosted tourism, a leading engine of growth of the Singapore economy.

Now analysts are waiting anxiously for data from other Asian countries, first of all China, which should release figures tomorrow.

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