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May 29, 2017

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Singapore's economy up by 3.5% in first half: PM

SINGAPORE--Singapore's trade-sensitive economy grew 3.5 percent in the first half and was on track for 2.5-3.5 percent expansion this year, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Friday.

"Our economy grew 3.5 percent in the first half of 2014, and is forecast to grow 2.5-3.5 percent for the year," he said in a message on the eve of National Day.

The forecast is within previous official estimates of 2.0-4.0 percent growth this year even as the city-state grapples with increasing uncertainties around the world.

The government on July 14 said gross domestic product shrank an annualized 0.8 percent on-quarter in the three months to June due to a fall in the output for electronic goods, a main export for the country of 5.4 million people.

Lee said the tiny island republic had thrived due to globalization but remained vulnerable to external shocks.

"Events overseas affect us quickly and unpredictably, such as political changes in Southeast Asia, maritime disputes in the South China Sea, or armed conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine," he said.

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