Singapore\'s Ministry of Trade and Industry said on Friday that the country\'s economic growth is expected to remain subdued for the rest of 2012 as external demand remained sluggish. For the whole year, the economic growth is expected to be around 1.5 percent. The official forecast range had been adjusted earlier from 1-3 percent at the beginning of the year to 1.5-2.5 percent. The economy narrowly escaped a technical recession in the third quarter after a revision of the quarter-on-quarter growth statistics for the second quarter to positive territory. The Singapore economy grew by 0.3 percent year on year in the third quarter, following the 2.5 percent increase in the second quarter. On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the economy contracted by 5.9 percent, after a revised growth of 0.5 percent in the second quarter. The weak growth in the third quarter was attributed to weak external demand for sectors such as manufacturing and wholesale trade. On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted basis, the manufacturing sector contracted by 9.6 percent, largely due to contraction in the electronics sector. The construction sector grew by 7.7 percent year on year, following the growth of 12.3 percent in the second quarter. On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the sector contracted by an annualized rate of 17.2 percent, due to a decline in private sector building activities. The ministry said it expects a growth of 1-3 percent for 2013. \"The growth outlook for the Singapore economy remains cautiously positive,\" due to the expected sluggishness in the global economy, it said. \"Nevertheless, backed by a healthy pipeline of projects, growth in specific clusters, such as transport engineering, as well as the construction sector, could provide support to the economy in 2013.\"