Singapore

PM Lee expects S'pore economy to grow by nearly 3%

WASHINGTON Singapore's economy should grow by close to 3 per cent this year, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Sunday.

He gave his upbeat assessment of the country's growth prospects to more than 250 Singaporeans living in and around Washington at a reception at Singapore's Embassy in the United States.

It comes as advance estimates from the Ministry of Trade and Industry this month put year-on-year growth for the third quarter at 4.6 per cent.

MANUFACTURING SECTOR

Mr Lee noted that this was due to a strong showing by the manufacturing sector, and he added that services performed "sort of okay" as well.

The Government had in August revised its growth estimates for this year to between 2 per cent and 3 per cent, and Mr Lee said on Sunday: "I expect it will be at the upper end of this because the third-quarter results look good."

While services are not as strong as they could be and construction has been slow, Mr Lee noted that the latter sector could be lifted - "if we need to build more, we can build more".

Mr Lee, who is on a six-day visit to the US, also gave an update on Singapore's strong relations with America - ranging from the economy, defence and security to education, culture and the arts.

"These go on, whoever is in the White House and whichever administration is in power or whichever party is in the administration," he said.

- THE STRAITS TIMES

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Lee Hsien Loongunited statesEconomy