SINGAPORE – Singapore’s economy contracted less than initially estimated in the fourth quarter, putting the country on a path to a gradual recovery in 2021 after it marked its worst ever recession last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gross domestic product (GDP) fell 2.4 percent year-on-year in the quarter, the ministry of trade and industry said on Monday, versus the 3.8 percent drop seen in the government’s advance estimate.
Analysts had expected a contraction of 3.5 percent, according to a Reuters poll.
“The Singapore economy is projected to see a gradual recovery in 2021, with GDP not expected to return to pre-COVID levels until the second half of the year,” said Gabriel Lim, the ministry’s permanent secretary.
The government expects GDP to grow 4 percent to 6 percent this year. The economy shrank 5.4 percent in 2020, marking its worst ever recession, compared with the advance estimate of 5.8 percent.
The government said outwardoriented sectors are likely to benefit from a pickup in global economic activity, but activity levels in sectors related to tourism and aviation are projected to remain below pre-pandemic levels even by the end of 2021.