SINGAPORE : Singapore's trade-sensitive economy is expected to grow 2.5-3.5 percent this year, higher than previously forecast, PM Lee Hsien Loong said Thursday. In a message on the eve of the city-state's National Day, Lee said the economy has held steady despite global uncertainties as it expanded by an annualised 2.0 percent in the first half of the year. "Our economy is holding steady amidst global uncertainties. We are attracting more quality investments," he said, adding that unemployment remains low.
"We grew by 2.0 percent in the first half of 2013 and expect to grow by 2.5-3.5 percent this year, higher than previously expected," he said.
"And even as we tighten up on foreign workers and immigration, we must maintain investor confidence and keep Singapore open for business."
The previous government projection was for the economy to expand 1.0-3.0 percent.
United Overseas Bank (UOB) economist Francis Tan said in a note the new forecast implies that Singapore's economy must grow 3.1 percent to 5.0 percent in the second half.
"This is quite strong growth but it's within UOB's forecast," he said. The bank expects domestic product to grow 3.0 percent this year.
Tan said the likely drivers for second-half growth include an expected cyclical rebound in electronics which would boost the key manufacturing sector, with services also seen to provide support.
Singapore's exports, like those of other Asian countries, had been hurt by slowing demand from the United States and Europe, although the situation in those markets has improved.