dpa/GNA – Official estimates released on Monday by the Ministry of Trade and Industry show Singapore’s gross domestic product (GDP) contracting by a less-than-expected 5.8 per cent in 2020.

The trade-dependent city-state was “weighed down,” the Trade Ministry said, as “major economies around the world continued to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Sectors such as tourism and aviation were hit hard by the pandemic and related travel restrictions, with output down 12.6 per cent on this time last year.

Construction, which depends heavily on migrant workers who made up most of Singapore’s almost-59,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, shrank by 33 per cent.

The government earlier warned that GDP could shrink by up to 6.5 per cent in 2020, after an April-June “circuit breaker” lockdown caused a record second-quarter contraction of over 13 per cent.

Sectors such as electronics and biomedical manufacturing have seen demand increase due to the pandemic, meaning Singapore’s manufacturing output expanded by 7.1 per cent during 2020.

Fourth-quarter GDP shrank by 3.8 per cent year-on-year, an improvement on the preceding three months’ 5.8 per cent drop.

The final three months of 2020 saw 2.1 per cent growth measured against the previous quarter, which in turn saw quarter-on-quarter growth of over 9 per cent.

The ministry said this was “due to the phased resumption of activities following the Circuit Breaker” and reflected a rebound internationally as major economies elsewhere “emerged from lockdowns” for a period during the middle of the year.

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