THE spotlight next year will shift from the factories to the banks and shopping malls, as the services sector looks set to pick up the slack in the economy.

With the financial and tourism sectors leading the charge, the services industry is set to make up as much as two-thirds of gross domestic product (GDP) next year, up from half this year, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said on Wednesday in its twice-yearly macroeconomic review.

This will happen as as growth slows to more normal levels amidst a cooling manufacturing sector.

From 2006 to 2009, manufacturing output accounted for about 20 to 25 per cent of the economy, with services contributing about 55 per cent and the rest from construction.

But this now looks set to change significantly next year.

The MAS report said the economy would hit a 'soft patch' in the coming quarters, before recovering gradually into 2011.

Services sector to lead