JAKARTA, Indonesia

Singapore’s economy contracted by 5.8% in 2020, amid the novel coronavirus, less than government’s forecast of 6% to 6.5%, the Trade and Industry Ministry said on Monday.

The country’s economy shrank by 3.8% on a year-on-year basis in the fourth quarter of the year, an improvement from the 5.6% contraction recorded in the previous quarter, a ministry statement said.

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted basis, the economy grew by 2.1% in the final quarter of 2020, following the 9.5% expansion in third quarter, it said.

The strong GDP growth seen in the third quarter was due to the phased resumption of activities, as well as the rebound in activity in major sectors during the quarter as they emerged from their lockdowns.

The government expects to return to growth this year as it has spent around 100 billion Singapore dollars ($75.9 billion) on virus-related relief to support households and businesses.

Singapore began its COVID-19 vaccination on Wednesday, with healthcare workers becoming the first to get the vaccine jointly developed by BioNTech and Pfizer.

*Writing by Rhany Chairunissa Rufinaldo from Anadolu Agency’s Indonesian-language service in Jakarta

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