SINGAPORE (AP) - Singapore's economy grew at a faster-than-expected 7.6 percent annual pace in the first quarter, prompting the government to raise its growth forecast for this year.
Construction and services were the main drivers of growth, offsetting a contraction in manufacturing that reflected weak global demand for the city-state's mainstay electronics exports, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said in a statement Monday.
Growth in the January-March quarter slowed a bit from the 7.9 percent annual rate marked in the fourth quarter, but was above an advance government estimate of 7.2 percent.
The Ministry said it raised the 2007 growth forecast to a range of 5-7 percent from 4.5-6.5 percent.
''The economic outlook is generally positive but some downside risks remain. These include a sharp slowdown in the US economy, vulnerability of oil prices to supply shocks and a disorderly unwinding of global unbalances,'' the ministry said. ''Barring these uncertainties, economic growth is expected to remain healthy in 2007.''