December 31, 2018 / 11:16 AM / 3 months ago

Singapore's economy grew 3.3 pct in 2018: PM Lee

FILE PHOTO: The skyline of Singapore's central business district is seen at dusk as operations continue at a PSA International port terminal in Singapore September 25, 2013. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore’s economy grew 3.3 percent in 2018 but major global economic uncertainties lie ahead including trade tension between the United States and China and nervous financial markets, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Monday.

The government has forecast GDP growth for 2018 to come in at between 3.0 percent and 3.5 percent versus a three-year high of 3.6 percent the previous year.

Lee reiterated the government’s forecast for GDP growth in 2019 to be between 1.5 percent and 3.5 percent.

Some economists said that while the trade-reliant economy’s growth is expected to slow in 2019, it may still expand at a sufficiently robust pace.

“There are major uncertainties in the global economy, with growing trade conflicts, nervous financial markets and signs of slowing growth,” Lee said in a New Year message.

The government is due to release its advance estimates for GDP in the fourth quarter and the whole of 2018 on Wednesday.

Singapore’s economy likely maintained a steady pace of growth in the fourth quarter as the manufacturing sector outperformed forecasts, but trade tension between the United States and China could slow the momentum next year.

Reporting by Jack Kim and Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Robert Birsel

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