Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Singapore's economy bounces back

There was a big sigh of relief for many Singaporeans as the economy expanded in the second quarter at its fastest rate in nearly 6 years.

Growth surpassed expectations, with a more than 20% rise from the previous quarter. All thanks to a surge in biomedical production.

Manufacturing is not exactly a huge part of Singapore's economy, but the island specialises in pharmaceuticals and high-end specialist manufacturing.

And increased demand for flu vaccines helped an already recession-proof sector to expand.

Exports, which are the real lifeblood of Singapore's economy, rose nearly 6% in May.

Shipments of raw materials such as iron ore are picking up. The reason, yet again, appears to be China.

The rest of the manufacturing sector is still struggling, however, and retail sales are still down. Domestic consumption is not picking up, so analysts say the worst may not be over yet.

- Mariko Oi, reporter, BBC Asia Business Report

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