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SG Singapore economy grows: survey

Property Here - Monday, November 18, 2013

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Singapore’s economy is expected to grow by up to 3.7 percent in 2013, revealed the latest Business Times-UniSim Business Climate Survey which was reported in the media. 

This figure, which is more than double last year’s growth of 1.3 percent, beats the government’s official forecast of 2.5 to 3.5 percent growth. 

The country is expected to grow even faster in 2014 considering it is cited by most firms as having the best business prospects – a title held by China for six consecutive years until it was displaced by Indonesia in 2012. 

Survey director Chow Kit Boey noted that China is experiencing a slow growth rate following a long period of rapid economic development, while Indonesia is losing its lustre due to various difficulties such as currency depreciation and higher inflation.

“Compared to the two countries, Singapore is recovering well from its anaemic performance in the past two years and is thus viewed as holding relatively better prospects.”

Notably, 21 percent of the 166 companies surveyed from late September to mid-October see Singapore as the most promising market, 19 percent cited Indonesia and 15 percent picked China. 

This is in comparison to last year, when Indonesia held top spot (20 percent), followed by Malaysia (15 percent) and China (14 percent). 

Although one-fifth of the respondents named Singapore as the most promising market, the survey’s business prospect indicator revealed that companies here are still pessimistic about the next six months. 

Nonetheless, business activities improved in Q3 2013 even as performance remained in contraction mode.

“Business activities strengthened across all groups of firms in Q3 2013, signalling an imminent turnaround to an expansion path,” Chow said.