Singapore slashes full-year growth forecast

  • Singapore slashes full-year growth forecast

Singapore slashes full-year growth forecast

What Happened: Singapore has reduced its annual gross domestic product growth estimates to between 0 and just 1 percent due to rising trade concerns and a worsening outlook for global electronics, CNA reported August 13. At the start of the year, when the US-China trade conflict was already under way, the Government was predicting 1.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent growth - a wider-than-usual range, given the uncertainties that lay ahead.

GDP growth in the U.S. is expected to moderate in the second half of the year, as the effects of the fiscal stimulus implemented in early-2018 dissipate while slowing global growth and prolonged trade uncertainty weigh on private investment. In the year's second quarter, Singapore's economy reportedly contracted 3.3 percent, after an initial modest period of 3.8 percent growth in the first quarter.

Singapore's benchmark stock index fell 1.2% to a two-month low in early trade, underperforming other bourses in the region. The Central Bank of Singapore is expected to convene a series of meetings in October to determine if any financial support measures will need to be implemented to cope with the economic downturn that is likely coming, reports Reuters.

"We do not expect the MAS to adjust the centre or width of the SGD NEER policy band".

Meanwhile, China's growth is projected to ease further in the second half of the year on the back of weaker investment growth and a continued decline in exports, exacerbated by the increase in the US's tariffs on its exports.

In addition, Enterprise Singapore downgraded its non-oil domestic exports (NODX) outlook for 2019 to -9 to -8% from -2 to 0%.

New Zealand, India and Thailand all cut interest rates last week, signaling major concerns about the outlook for economic growth.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in his National Day message last week that Singapore is feeling the pains of the trade war, and the government is willing to stimulate the economy if needed.

"All the downside risks are piling up on one side", Ling added, pointing to the myriad of global risks flagged in the trade ministry statement.

But environmentalists say poached ivory can be disguised as legal as long as trade is allowed in licensed outlets on the high street and online.

"The ban will mean that the sale of elephant ivory and ivory products, and public display of elephant ivory and ivory products for the goal of sale will be prohibited", it said.