Singapore’s GDP grew 0.2% y-o-y in the 1Q2021, according to advanced estimates by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) released on April 14.

This represents a turnaround from the contraction of 2.4% recorded for the 4Q2020.

On a q-o-q seasonally adjusted basis, the ministry says the economy grew by 2% following the 3.8% expansion in the 4Q2020.

The construction sector continues to show the biggest contraction, shrinking by 20.2% y-o-y for the 1Q2021, though this marks an improvement from the 27.4% contraction in the 4Q2020. The improved performance came on the back of a pickup in public and private sector construction activities.

On a q-o-q seasonally adjusted basis, the construction sector grew by 8.4%, extending the 55.6% growth in the 4Q2020.

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The manufacturing sector grew by 7.5%  y-o-y in the 1Q20201, following the 10.3% expansion in the previous quarter. Growth of the sector was supported by output expansions in the electronics, precision engineering, chemicals and biomedical manufacturing clusters, which outweighed output declines in the transport engineering and general manufacturing clusters.

On a q-o-q seasonally adjusted basis, the sector grew 7.6%, a reversal from the 1.4% contraction in the 4Q2020.

Among the services sectors, the wholesale & retail trade and transportation & storage sectors shrank by 4.1% in the 1Q2021, moderating from the 6.4% contraction in the 4Q2020. MTI attributes the continued contraction to ongoing weakness in the transportation & storage sector caused by Covid-19, despite growth in the wholesale and retail trade sector.

On a q-o-q seasonally adjusted basis, the group of sectors grew 0.9%, slower than the 4.1% for the 4Q2020.

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Information & communications, finance & insurance and professional services sectors collectively grew 3.7% in the 1Q2021, higher than the, 1.4% expansion in the 4Q2020. The growth follows healthy expansions in the information & communications and finance & insurance sectors, even as the professional services sector contracted due to weak economic and construction activity.

On a q-o-q seasonally adjusted basis, the sectors contracted 0.7%, a reversal from the 5.1% growth seen in the previous quarter.

Accommodation & food services, real estate, administrative & support services and other services industries shrank by 3.9% y-o-y in the 1Q2021, an improvement from the 9.9% contraction in the previous quarter.

However, on a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted basis, the sectors in the group contracted by 1.4%, lower than the 5.7% growth recorded in 4Q2020.

MTI attributes the weaker performance to continued constraints from safe management measures that resulted in all sectors in the group contracting except for accommodation, which was supported by domestic demand. Nonetheless, the level of activity in the sector remained significantly below pre-pandemic levels.