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Singapore economy beats forecast to grow 2.3 percent in 1st quarter

SINGAPORE--Singapore's economy grew 2.3 percent in the first quarter, roundly beating the initial estimate, the trade ministry said Tuesday, with a strong manufacturing sector expected to underpin further growth this year.

The ministry had predicted quarter-on-quarter expansion of a mere 0.1 percent based on two months of data.

But growth was lifted by strong performance in the manufacturing sector, which expanded 11.9 percent quarter-on-quarter in the three months to March and 9.8 percent year-on-year.

On a year-on-year basis, the ministry said the city-state's trade-reliant economy expanded 4.9 percent in the first quarter.

Growth in other sectors including finance and construction also helped boost the figure.

The ministry maintained the official 2014 economic growth forecast at 2.0-4.0 percent, a pace it described as “modest.”

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