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Preview - Singapore Q1 GDP likely to be revised higher on manufacturing boost

Reuters  |  SINGAPORE 

(Reuters) - Singapore's likely performed better than initially expected in the first quarter thanks to a surge in factory output, although the outlook is clouded by slowing to China, according to analysts surveyed by

The median estimate by the 11 economists polled put gross domestic product (GDP) growth at 2.7 percent in the January-March quarter from a year earlier.

That would be better than the official advance estimate of 2.5 percent growth released last month.

On a seasonally adjusted, annualised basis probably contracted by 1 percent in the January-March quarter, the poll showed, compared to the advance estimate of a 1.9 percent contraction.

Singapore's manufacturing output beat expectations in March, ring 10.2 percent from a year earlier, making analysts revise upwards their first quarter forecasts, but weak export numbers in April cast a shadow on the outlook.

"We're on watch mode," said Mizuho Bank senior economist, Vishnu Varathan, adding that he is not revising his full year forecast.

"We did see export numbers feeding into the story of moderation for the rest of the year. Q1 is not compelling enough for us to suggest suddenly the prospects are a lot more upbeat."

Other analysts doubt that the better than expected growth of the last two quarters can be sustained.

"We reckon that it will be challenging for the recent strength in and production to sustain in the second half of 2017," said ANZ economist Weiwen Ng.

He said could face headwinds due to its reliance on growth that was mostly driven by the electronics sector and by trade with

"We know that this recovery is externally driven by The tech cycle is maturing and we saw that in the modest moderation in the electronic (in April)," Ng said.

"are geographically and narrowly driven by "

Singapore's non-oil domestic to grew much slower in April at 10.9 percent from a year earlier, compared to 45.5 percent growth in March.

(Reporting by Fathin Ungku; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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