The Singapore economy crawled to the finish line at a record low growth rate of 0.8 percent in the last three months of the year, according to Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Singapore’s GDP expanded by 0.8 percent in the last quarter of 2019 compared to same time period in 2018.
“In the fourth quarter, the manufacturing sector contracted by 2.1 per cent on a year-on-year basis, extending the 0.9 per cent decline in the previous quarter,” stated the ministry quarterly report.
“The contraction was due to output declines in the electronics, chemicals and transport engineering clusters, which more than offset output expansions in the precision engineering, biomedical manufacturing and general manufacturing clusters,” added the report.
Singapore’s growth rate in 2019 was the lowest since 2009 during the Great Recession that rocked the global economy.
Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry originally forecast the economy to grow at rate as low as 0.5 percent going into 2020, according to a report by the government.
The report stated the economy was expected to conclude with dismal 0.5 to 1 percent growth rate and go into the next year with a forecast from 0.5 percent to 2.5 percent.
The Singapore economy dropped precipitously in the second quarter, experiencing a 2.7 contraction, and many analysts expected the ongoing US-China trade war and disruptions in global manufacturing chains to sink the city-state into recession this year.
Despite its lackluster economic growth results this year, the World Economic Forum (WEF) ranked Singapore as the most competitive economy in the world.
The competitive index was formulated to take into account the drivers of economic growth and how efficiently labor and investment capital “combined for generating output.”
“The country ranks first in terms of infrastructure, health, labor market functioning and financial system development,” concluded the WEF report.
Additionally, Singapore became the only Asian country to crack the top 10 on the World Talent Rankings list, compiled by Switzerland-based business school IMD. Singapore’s highly developed education system increased its scores enough to overtake Germany in the rankings.
The IMD rankings measured the countries’ investment and development in talent through education and apprenticeship programs and other quality of life factors that would encourage the retainment of talent and attraction of foreign overseas talent.