Economic growth slows in some major Southeast Asian nations

Economic growth in some major Southeast Asian nations slowed in the first quarter this year, mainly due to sluggish exports to China, the United States and Europe.

Singapore's GDP grew just 0.1 percent in the January-March quarter, compared with the same period last year. The growth rate in the previous quarter was 2.1 percent.

The country's manufacturing sector has been in a slump as exports of electronic devices to the US, European nations and China remain at low levels.

Vietnam's economy grew 3.3 percent year-on-year, but the pace of increase eased compared to the previous quarter. A decline in exports of mobile phones and related merchandise is to blame. The Vietnamese government is considering temporarily reducing value-added taxes to prop up the economy.

The Indonesian economy -- the largest in the region -- showed year-on-year growth of 5.0 percent, unchanged from the previous quarter.

Demand for exports from Southeast Asia has been declining as the US and European nations continue to raise interest rates to curb inflation.