S’pore economy grows 1.2% in 2012

Singapore’s economy grew 1.2 percent this year, hurt by weak US, European and Japanese economies, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his New Year message on Monday.

“Next year we expect to grow by 1-3 percent. In our new phase, we must expect slower growth than we have become accustomed to,” he added.

Mr Lee said Singapore has made steady progress in 2012 by improving Singaporeans’ lives and addressing more pressing concerns.

He cited HDB’s launch of a record number of BTO flats to meet housing needs, upgrading of public transport services by completing the Circle Line extension and launching the Bus Service Enhancement Programme, as well as enhancing living environment through iconomic developments like Gardens by the Bay.

The government has also strengthened social safety nets to prepare for Singapore’s ageing population and changing social needs.

Prime Minister Lee said it is critical to strike a right balance in Singapore’s population policies.

This year’s 1.2 percent growth is below the official forecast of about 1.5 percent.

It suggests that the economy will likely contract in the fourth quarter, following a contraction in the third quarter, resulting in a recession.

Advance estimates for the fourth quarter will be released on Wednesday.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 31 Dec 2012

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