A "very busy year" for Singapore's hospitality market is projected to push up hotel room rates. REUTERS

The economy of Singapore surged by 14.7 percent in 2010, primarily driven by a surge in manufacturing activity, versus a 1.3 decline in the prior year, making it Asia’s fastest-growing economy.

The GDP performing from 2010 surpasses the prior record growth of 13.8 percent established in 1970.
According to data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Singapore’s performance last year was second only to Qatar, which grew by 16 percent in 2010.

The economy expanded by 6.9 percent (on an annualized basis) in the fourth quarter. The services sector, which accounts for about two-thirds of Singapore's economy, grew by 8.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010 alone.

Economic growth in the fourth quarter was primarily underpinned by a strong expansion in the manufacturing sector, the government’s Ministry of Trade and Industry.

This strong growth was led by the biomedical manufacturing cluster, which saw a strong rebound in pharmaceutical output.

However, the city-state’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong cautioned the growth would slow down in 2011. Official estimates are expecting 2011 GDP expansion of between 4 percent and 6 percent.

One of the few weak segments of the economy is the construction sector, which shrank 1.2 percent in the fourth quarter, after growing 7.1 percent in the third quarter.