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SINGAPORE: Singapore's economy in the second quarter likely grew at the slowest pace since the global financial crisis, a Reuters poll showed on Tuesday, hurt by a global tech slump and trade tensions between the United States and China.

Gross domestic product (GDP) in the April-June quarter is expected to have expanded 1.1% from the same period a year earlier, according to the median forecast of 13 economists in the poll, slightly less than the 1.2% growth posted for January-March.

This would be Singapore's slowest on-year GDP growth since the second quarter of 2009, when the economy contracted 1.2%, official data shows.

"Singapore's economic prospects have clearly deteriorated as of late," UOB economist Barnabas Gan said in a note to clients.

"Declining exports have been the main drag to the city-state's growth momentum... (which) plummeted by double-digit pace for three consecutive months into May 2019," Gan added.

On a quarter-on-quarter, seasonally adjusted and annualised basis, GDP is expected to have increased 0.1% in the second quarter, the poll found, slowing from the 3.8% expansion in January-March.

Singapore's trade ministry is expecting 2019 full-year GDP growth to be a decade-low 1.5%-2.5%, and some analysts say there might be a recession in 2020.

Weak manufacturing output and disappointing export figures have prompted the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the central bank, to consider cutting its growth forecast.

Electronics manufacturing output, the main driver of  Singapore's economy in the last two years, declined for the sixth consecutive month in May while exports saw its biggest decline in more than three years.

Singapore's sluggish growth outlook has economists raising bets on the central bank easing its exchange-rate based monetary policy in its next policy statement due in October.

The MAS tightened monetary policy twice last year in efforts to control rising price pressures and strengthen its currency - its first such tightening moves in six years.

Copyright Reuters, 2019