Singapore: Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has trimmed the city state's economic growth target for this year to between five and six per cent from original projection of five and seven per cent, amid renewed turbulence in the global financial markets.

"Despite some risks on the horizon, we project steady growth of 5-6 per cent for 2011," Lee said in his National Day message last night. Singapore celebrates its 46th National Day on Tuesday.

In a separate statement, the Prime Minister's Office said the outlook for major economies has become more uncertain since last week recording of Lee's message which was televised last night, and it would be premature to revise the country's gross domestic product growth further.

"The economic agencies are carefully monitoring the situation," said the statement. Analysts said economic outlook has become more bearish after Standard & Poor's revised US debt credit ratings last Friday.

The Straits Times on Tuesday cited analysts saying the economic performance in the second half of this year would be weaker than anticipated.

Singapore's export-oriented manufacturing, trade and financial services could face slower demand.
Lee said "Asia, led by China and India, is expected to continue growing, but the global outlook remains uncertain.

"Europe's debt problems are far from solved, despite the recent bailout of Greece by the EU. The US economy remains sluggish. The US President and Congress have agreed to raise the debt ceiling, but have put off difficult decisions to raise taxes and cut spending. Japan has the added burden of earthquake and tsunami recovery," he said.

"These three key economies are struggling to find the decisive leadership required to resolve their domestic challenges. This will weigh them down and dampen global prospects," Lee said.

Singapore's economy grew 4.9 per cent in the first half, with unemployment remaining at 2.1 per cent.

Lee also underlined the importance of foreigners to Singapore economy but assured that the inflow of immigrants and foreign workers was being moderated.

(Agencies)