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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs          14  July 2011

Singapore economy stalls

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Singapore economy grew weaker than expected, after it posted just 0.5 percent growth in the second quarter of 2011, according to flash estimates by the Trade and Industry Ministry.

Manufacturing was the main drag on the growth rates, declining 5.5 percent in the March to June period compared to 2010.

MTI said this was due to pharmaceutical companies switching to different lines of drug production and a slowdown in global demand for electronic products. Services also grew weaker than expected, expanding just 3.3 percent.

'This was largely due to declines in the wholesale and retail trade and financial services sectors. The former was negatively affected by weaker trade flows during the quarter, while the latter was dragged down by a fall in stock trading activities,' said MTI. Growth in the construction sector also moderated, growing by just 1.6 percent.

The good news, however, was that the revised figures for the first quarter of 2011 showed that the economy expanded 9.3 percent. MTI had previously reported that the first three months of 2011 grew by 8.3 percent.

MTI is forecasting a 5 percent to 7 percent growth for Singapore for the full year of 2011.


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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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