Bangkok, Apr 14 (EFE).- Singapore’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.2% in the first quarter of 2021, the first expansion of the economy of the city-state since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The expansion is a strong signal that our economy is slowly but surely recovering from the unprecedented impact of Covid-19 last year,” Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said on Facebook after the release of the data.
The Asian nation, whose GDP shrank by 5.8% in 2020, has come out of recession, according to preliminary data announced by the Singaporean Ministry of Trade and Industry on Wednesday.
Growth between January and March was mainly driven by the manufacturing sector, which expanded 7.5% year-on-year, supported by the increase in production of electronics, precision engineering, chemical and biomedical clusters, the ministry said in a statement.
However, the construction, wholesale and retail trade, and accommodation and food services sectors, among others, continued to post losses compared to the first quarter of 2020 although they show an upward trend compared to the last quarter of 2020.
“While we are cautiously optimistic, many downside risks remain which we will have to pay close attention to. The path of the pandemic remains uncertain with the emergence of new variants and the uneven global roll out of vaccine deployment,” added the minister, who also warned that many countries continued to pursue protectionist policies.
Chan also acknowledged that the post-Covid economy will be “a very different one” and will face new “challenges and opportunities.”
Singapore, which seems to have kept the Covid-19 epidemic under control, entered the final phase of easing its coronavirus restrictions in December, aimed at regaining normalcy during this year.
The phase increases the limit on social and family gatherings from five to eight, among others. EFE