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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 January 2006, 07:40 GMT
Singapore economy performing well
Singapore skyline
A record number of tourists flocked to Singapore last year
Strong growth in the global oil and technology industries has boosted the Singapore economy, which grew an above forecast 7.7% in the last quarter.

The preliminary figure means Singapore is on course to record growth for 2005 as a whole of 5.7%, beating government forecasts of 5% expansion.

Rising oil prices have boosted the island's economy, the largest manufacturer of offshore oil rigs.

Singapore also attracted record tourist numbers during the past year.

Productive investment

More than nine million people visited the island in 2005, swelling Singapore's coffers.

In a New Year message, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the economy had grown by 5.7% in 2005.

If the global economy is recovering, Singapore will benefit more than others
Sim Moh Siong, Citigroup

Growth on such a scale would see Singapore eclipsing regional economic rivals such as South Korea and Taiwan, analysts say.

Singapore has benefited from a recovery in global trade flows and its investment, in recent years, in developing its pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

Compared with its regional rivals, it is not so vulnerable to volatile demand in the consumer electronics market.

"Singapore's economy is more leveraged to global growth than others," Sim Moh Siong, an economist with Citigroup, told Associated Press.

"If the global economy is recovering, Singapore will benefit more than others."

Singapore is forecasting growth of between 3-5% in 2006, a figure considered on the cautious side by economists.

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