SEAISI: Vietnam and Singapore posts GDP growth in Q1, other ASEAN countries’ GDPs contract

Friday, 09 July 2021 11:35:28 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul

The South East Asia Iron and Steel Institute (SEAISI) has shared the ASEAN-6 countries’ gross domestic product (GDP) data for the first quarter this year, adding that many ASEAN countries are facing another surge of infections and measures are being re-imposed in Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore. In contrast, cases in the Philippines and Indonesia are on a downward trend.

Accordingly, Vietnam registered a 4.5 percent GDP growth in the first quarter this year, continuing its economic expansion through its early control over the pandemic. Singapore’s economy grew by 1.3 percent in the given period, mainly due to expansion in the manufacturing, finance & insurance and wholesale trade sectors.

Indonesia recorded four quarters of economic contraction, with the first quarter GDP declining 0.7 percent. The largest economic sectors in the country such as industry, trade, construction, and mining all contracted, though their performances were better than in the previous three quarters.

Malaysia’s GDP in the first quarter this year declined by 0.5 percent, mainly supported by the expansion in the manufacturing sector and the rebound of the agriculture sector, while Thailand’s GDP shrank by 2.6 percent, mainly due to contraction in the non-agriculture sectors.

Philippines’s economy contracted by 4.2 percent in the first quarter, with its five straight quarters of decline marking its longest recession since the 1980s. Prolonged lockdowns, which are still ongoing, were cited as the main reason for the contraction in almost all economic sectors.

ASEAN-6 government forecast (%)

GDP Growth





+4.5 to +5.3



+6.0 to +7.5



+6.5 to +7.5



+4.0 to +6.0



+1.5 to +2.5



+6.0 to +6.5

According to SEAISI, the governments are investing billions in public infrastructure projects, which will continue to lift their economies towards recovery. However, risks and challenges remain as the recent wave of the coronavirus outbreak and slow rollout of vaccination programs threaten the pace of recovery in most ASEAN-6 countries.

“With the external markets also facing similar circumstances, it will take a longer time to achieve a global recovery to pre-pandemic levels. The only bright spot is that China’s economy is recovering fast and this is one opportunity that ASEAN-6 countries are well positioned to take advantage of,” Yeoh Wee-Jin, secretary general of SEAISI, commented.

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