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3 November 2009

Singapore’s economy to enter decade of slow growth

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Singapore’s average growth rate over the next decade would be lower than in the last 10 years, due to changes in the global economy and different circumstances closer to home, the Straits Times quoted the city-state’s finance minister as telling the Financial Times in an interview.

In an interview with the Financial Times, published on Monday, Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam was quoted as saying that the previous pace of expansion would not be sustainable as Singapore's labour force expanded at a slower pace and it became more difficult to raise productivity.

“We can't keep growing at 5, 7 or 8 percent over the next five to 10 years. It is not advisable to do so either,” he said.

Tharman said growth had averaged 5 percent over the last full economic cycle from 2003 to last year. And, without specifying numbers, he said the long-term trend growth rate would be “a shade lower than over the last five to 10 years”.

The lower growth was down to Singapore's continuing economic evolution to a more mature, developed economy, he added.

“This is not so much due to the crisis and the very real discontinuities in the global economy, as much as the fact that the Singapore economy is evolving,” Tharman told the Financial Times.


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