RPT-Singapore plans for recession as economy shrinks more than expected in Q1 due to virus

SINGAPORE, March 26 (Reuters) – Singapore’s economy contracted 2.2% in the first quarter from a year earlier, preliminary data showed on Thursday, with the coronavirus outbreak prompting authorities to downgrade their full-year GDP forecast range to -4% to -1%.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a 1.5% contraction in Singapore, one of the first countries to report quarterly growth data since the virus spread from China at the start of the year.

On a quarter-on-quarter basis, gross domestic product (GDP) contracted 10.6%, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said in a statement. Economists had expected a 6.3% contraction.

The previous 2020 GDP range was -0.5% to 1.5%. (Reporting by John Geddie and Joe Brock; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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