Sign up | Log in



Related Stories

November 16, 2008
Singapore: Retrenchment shouldn’t be the first resort to cut costs 

November 10, 2008
Singapore's 2009 budget to spur growth

October 22, 2008
Singapore: Charter changes to cope with recession

October 17, 2008
Singapore, Malaysia to guarantee all bank deposits

October 16, 2008
Singapore minister assures  banking system in good health

October 10, 2008
Singapore’s economy in recession

October 6, 2008
Singapore: Economic slowdown to last several quarters

September 23, 2008
Impact of US Finance System Meltdown:
Singapore sees economy slowing down

September 21, 2008
Bangkok Central Banks’ Meeting
US faces similar crisis to Asia in 1997



November 22, 2008

Singapore trims growth forecast, unveils credit support plan
Singapore has further downgraded its growth forecast for 2008 and pledged $1.5 billion in credit support for businesses trying to survive a recession and the global financial crisis, reported AFP.

The support package came as the government said its economy could contract in 2009 after weaker than expected third-quarter GDP figures.

The city-state's economy, already in recession, was now expected to grow by about 2.5 percent this year, down from about three percent previously forecast, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said.

Next year, it saw GDP ranging between a contraction of 1.0 percent and growth of 2.0 percent.

The ministry said gross domestic product (GDP) fell by an annualised 6.8 percent in the third quarter ended in September, after a fall of 5.3 percent in the second quarter. The figures were worse than expected.

"Singapore may see its worst recession ever," said CIMB-GK regional economist Song Seng Wun. He predicted GDP could shrink two to five percent annually over the next couple of years.

Preliminary government data released last month, when trade-dependent Singapore became the first Asian economy to fall into recession, showed that real GDP declined by 6.3 percent in the third quarter after contracting 5.7 percent in the previous three months. GDP is the value of all goods and services produced by an economy.

A poll of economists by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast a 6.3 percent quarter-on-quarter decline in growth for the three months ended in September.

Singapore is Southeast Asia's wealthiest economy in terms of GDP per capita but its heavy dependence on trade makes it sensitive to problems in developed economies, particularly the key export markets of the United States and Europe.

The European Union has fallen into recession and, this week, the US Federal Reserve highlighted the potential for recession there over the next year.

The $1.5-billionr support package was designed to help businesses gain access to much-needed credit.

The government "is enhancing its business financing schemes to support an additional 2.3 billion Singapore dollars ($1.5 billion) in loans to help local firms gain access to credit," the trade ministry said.

Up to 124,000 local companies will be eligible to benefit from the various schemes, which take effect on December 1, it added.

"Consumer and business confidence indicators across the major economies are weak. The contraction in global demand has hit regional economies too," the ministry said in a separate statement.

"As a result, Singapore's trade volumes and other indicators of regional demand, including visitor arrivals, have fallen."

The manufacturing sector was hardest hit in the third quarter, led by electronics and biomedical sciences, MTI said.

Growth in the service sector has also started to moderate. Service industries, which include hotels, restaurants and financial services, grew by 5.3 percent year-on-year in the third quarter compared with 7.1 percent in the previous quarter, the ministry said.

Compared with the same period last year, Singapore's GDP contracted by 0.6 percent in the third quarter in real terms, worse than the 0.5 percent previously estimated.

Next year, Singapore is expected to face a broad-based slowdown, the ministry added.

"Considerable uncertainty remains as to how deep and long this downturn will last," it said.

In addition to the loan support pledged Friday, Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam told reporters that a "significantly expansionary" budget to be delivered in January will emphasise help for businesses.

He said there will be only limited impact from an increase in domestic demand because Singapore is "a very small and very open economy with a very high import content in almost every area of spending."

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Special Feature | Features | News | Magazine | Events | TV | Press Release | Advertise With us

| Terms of Use | Site Map | Privacy Policy  | DISCLAIMER |

Version 5.0
Copyright © 2006-2017 TIME INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT ENTERPRISES CO., LTD. All rights reserved.
Bangkok, Thailand