Thursday, January 3, 2013

Expect slower growth, says PM Lee

Economy grew 1.2% last year, below earlier 1.5% forecast
Business Times
JANUARY 01, 2013

THE Singapore economy expanded by just 1.2 per cent in 2012, below the government's most recent forecast that full-year growth would come in at around 1.5 per cent.

Revealing the year's final Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth figure in his annual New Year message, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday attributed the weaker numbers to the weak US, European and Japanese economies. Some industries here have also faced difficulties hiring the workers they need to expand, he noted.

He added that the GDP growth forecast for this year would be 1-3 per cent, in line with the Trade and Industry Ministry's earlier projection; advance estimates for the fourth quarter will be released tomorrow.

Singaporeans should "expect slower growth" than what they have been accustomed to, he said, adding: "Slower growth does not mean we will face less pressure. Companies, especially, must put more effort into raising productivity. The government will lend them support to do so. Only through higher productivity can we sustain real-wage increases for Singaporeans."

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