Singapore’s chip revival hinges on a wobbly China

SINGAPORE – Singapore’s economy expanded at its fastest pace in over a decade in 2021, a rebound from the city-state’s worst-ever recession led in large part by a manufacturing sector that fired on all cylinders to meet soaring global demand for electronics products as well as semiconductors.

The city-state’s economy expanded 7.2% last year, a robust bounce from a pandemic-induced 5.4% contraction in 2020. Singapore’s manufacturing sector expanded 12.8% compared to 7.3% the previous year, while exports rose 24.2% in November, the largest gain in nearly a decade. Exports are estimated to have grown by 10% year on year in 2021.

Electronics output alone grew 16.5% in the first 11 months of last year compared to the same period in 2020. Yet while the island nation’s broad economic recovery seems poised to continue in 2022, economists say its manufacturing-led momentum may have already peaked amid incipient signs and warnings of a slowdown.

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