Singapore’s economy to return to growth in 2021

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    SINGAPORE- Singapore’s economy contracted less than initially estimated in the third quarter due to the gradual easing of COVID-19 lockdown measures and authorities expect the city-state to bounce back to growth next year from its worst recession.

    Gross domestic product (GDP) fell 5.8 percent year-on-year in the third quarter, the ministry of trade and industry said on Monday, smaller than the 7 percent drop seen in the government’s advance estimate.

    Analysts expected a 5.4 percent contraction, according to the median of 10 forecasts.

    The government said it now expects full-year GDP to contract between 6.5 percent and 6 percent versus its prior forecast for a 5 percent to 7 percent decline. The country is still facing the biggest downturn in its history.

    The economy is expected to grow 4 percent to 6 percent next year.

    “The recovery of the Singapore economy in the year ahead is expected to be gradual, and will depend to a large extent on how the global economy performs and whether Singapore is able to continue to keep the domestic COVID-19 situation under control,” the MTI said in a statement.

    However, economic activity in consumer-facing sectors was not likely to return to pre-COVID levels even by end-2021, the MTI said.