Friday October 13 2017
Singapore GDP Growth Surpasses Expectations in Q3
Mario | mario@tradingeconomics.com

The Singaporean economy expanded 4.6 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2017, up from 2.9 percent in the prior quarter and stronger than market expectations of a 3.8 percent expansion, led by a sharp acceleration in manufacturing. On a quarterly basis, the advanced estimate showed that the GDP grew an annualized 6.3 percent in Q3, sharply surpassing the 2.4 percent growth of the previous quarter and the 3.2 percent expansion expected by consensus.

On an annualized basis, manufacturing was the main driver of faster-than-expected growth in the September quarter of 2017, as it expanded 15.5 percent after increasing by 8.2 percent in the previous three-month period. Robust expansion in electronics, biomedical manufacturing and precision engineering clusters drove growth.

The services producing industries advanced 2.6 percent, compared to an upwardly revised 2.5 percent rise in the prior quarter. Growth was mainly supported by finance & insurance services, wholesale & retail trade, and transportation & storage.

In sharp contrast, the construction sector plunged 6.3 percent, albeit the contraction was moderately smaller than the 6.8 fall of the previous quarter. The sector was mainly affected by persistent weakness in private sector construction activities.

On a quarterly basis, the GDP grew an annualized 6.3 percent in Q3 after an upwardly revised 2.4 percent expansion in Q2. Manufacturing was the trigger behind the sharp jump, expanding 23.1 percent after a 3.2 percent expansion in the previous quarter. In contrast, construction plummeted 9.2 percent after rebounding by 2.4 percent in Q2.

In 2016, the economy advanced 2 percent, slightly stronger than a 1.9 percent growth in the preceding year.




Monday September 25 2017
Singapore Inflation Rate at 4-Month Low of 0.4% in August
Statistics Singapore l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Singapore rose 0.4 percent from a year earlier in August of 2017, following a 0.5 percent rise in the prior month while market expected a 0.6 percent increase. It was the lowest inflation rate since April, as cost of food and transport increased at slower paces while cost of housing & utilities continued to fall.

Year-on-year, prices went up less than in a month earlier for: clothing & footwear (1.6 percent from 2.6 percent in August); health care (2.5 percent from 2.9 percent, mainly due to a 3.3 percent rise in medical & dental treatment) and transport (1.4 percent from 2.0 percent, largely due to a 2.6 percent rise in private road transport). Cost also rose at softer rate for: miscellaneous goods & services (0.1 percent from 0.5 percent, due to a 0.1 percent rise in alcoholic drinks & tobacco, a 2.8 percent rise in personal effects and a 1.9 percent increase in other miscellaneous expenditure); education (2.7 percent from 2.8 percent, due to a 2.7 percent rise in tuition & other fees and a 0.9 percent gain in school textbooks & related study guides) and communication (0.1 percent from 0.3 percent). 

Cost increased more for household durables & services (1.2 percent from 1.0 percent, largely due to a 2.2 percent increase in household services & supplies), while rebounded for recreation & culture (0.3 percent from -0.1 percent, due to a 0.4 percent rise in recreation & entertainment, a 0.2 percent increase in newspapers, books & stationery and a 0.2 percent in holiday expenses.

On the other hand, cost fell for housing & utilities  (-2.3 percent from -2.5 percent, mainly due to a 3.9 percent decline in accommodation). 

Prices of food rose 1.2 percent, compared to a 1.4 percent gain in the previous two months. Among food excluding food servicing services, cost increased for bread & cereals (0.6 percent); meat (1.2 percent); milk, cheese & eggs (0.4 percent); fish & seafood (2.5 percent); oils & fats (0.9 percent), fruits (2.6 percent); sugar, preserves & confectionery (0.6 percent), non-alcoholic beverages (0.6 percent) and other food (1.2 percent).  In contrast, cost fell for vegetables (-0.1 percent). Among food servicing services, prices increased for all categories: restaurant foods (0.8 percent), fast food (0.3 percent), hawker food including food courts (1.7 percent) and catered food (1.7 percent).

Core consumer prices which exclude costs of accommodation and private road transport, rose 1.4 percent from 1.6 percent  in July and below estimates of 1.6 percent. It was the lowest figure since March.

On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices went up 0.3 percent, after declining 0.2 percent in  a month earlier.




Thursday September 14 2017
Singapore Q2 Jobless Rate Confirmed At 6-1/2-Year High
Ministry of Manpower l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Singapore’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 2.2 percent in the June quarter of 2017, in line with the preliminary estimate and the same as in the prior two quarters. The jobless rate remained at its highest level since the fourth quarter 2010, as employment continued to decline.

In the three months to June, the jobless rate fell for residents (3.1 percent from 3.2 percent in the March quarter) and citizens (3.3 percent from 3.5 percent). However, the rates remained higher than a year ago, after trending up in the previous quarters. 

Total employment fell by 7,300, following a drop of 6,800 in the first quarter, due to sustained declines in Work Permit Holders in construction (-10, 500 from -12,500 in Q1) and manufacturing (-3,600 from -4,400). Meantime, services sector saw employmrent rose at a slower pace (7,000 from 10,000).

Some 3,640 workers were laid off, lower than 4,000 workers in the March quarter and a year ago (4,800). The decline was observed across all broad sectors.  About 64 percent of retrenchments were from services, mainly in professional services (17 percent), financial services (12 percent) and wholesale trade (12 percent).

The rate of re-entry among retrenched residents was 64.0 percent, similar to the compared to the previous quarter. 

The number of job vacancies among private sector establishments with at least 25 employees and the public sector increased. As a result of higher vacancies and a lower number of job seekers, the seasonally adjusted job vacancies to unemployed ratio improved for the second consecutive quarter to 85 job vacancies for every 100 employed, compared to March 2017 (81) and December 2016 (77).

The seasonally adjusted recruitment rate was unchanged from the previous quarter (2.1 percent). Meanwhile, resignation rate declined slightly to 1.7 percent (from 1.8 percent in the March quarter after holding steady since Q1 2016).




Wednesday August 23 2017
Singapore Inflation Rate Edges Up to 0.6% in July
Statistics Singapore l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Singapore rose 0.6 percent from a year earlier in July of 2017, following a 0.5 percent rise in the prior month while market expected a 0.8 percent increase. Cost of transport rose at a faster pace while food inflation was steady and cost of housing continued to fall.

Year-on-year, prices rose more than in a month earlier for: clothing & footwear (2.6 percent from 1.9 percent); household durables & services (1.0 percent from 0.3 percent, largely due to a 2.2 percent increase in household services & supplies), health care (2.9 percent from 2.5 percent, mainly driven by a 3.6 percent rise in medical & dental treatment and a 0.6 percent gain in medical products, appliances & equipment) and miscellaneous goods & services (0.5 percent from 0.2 percent, driven by a 0.7 percent rise in alcoholic drinks & tobacco, a 4.1 percent rise in personal effects and a 1.8 percent increase in other miscellaneous expenditure). Also, cost of transport rose 2.0 percent, faster than a 1.8 percent rise in the prior month, mainly due to a 3.5 percent rise in private road transport). 

Meantime, cost increased less for education (2.8 percent from 3.2 percent, due to a 2.9 percent rise in tuition & other fees and a 0.9 percent gain in school textbooks & related study guides), while surged for communication (0.3 percent from -0.6 percent). 

On the other hand, cost fell for housing & utilities  (-2.5 percent from -2.0 percent, mainly driven by a 4.1 percent decline in accommodation). 

Prices of food rose 1.4 percent, the same as in the previous month. Among food excluding food servicing services, cost increased for bread & cereals (1.1 percent); meat (0.6 percent); milk, cheese & eggs (0.2 percent); fish & seafood (2.5 percent); oils & fats (3.1 percent), fruits (3.3 percent), vegetables (0.4 percent); sugar, preserves & confectionery (1.3 percent), non-alcoholic beverages (1.6 percent) and other food (2.9 percent).  Among food servicing services, prices increased for all categories: restaurant foods (1.2 percent), fast food (0.2 percent), hawker food including food courts (1.8 percent) and catered food (1.7 percent).

Core consumer prices which exclude costs of accommodation and private road transport, edged up 1.6 percent from 1.5 percent  in June and in line with estimates.

On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices declined by 0.2 percent, after falling 0.1 percent in  a month earlier.


Friday August 11 2017
Singapore GDP Growth Revised Up To 2.9% in Q2
Statistics Singapore l Charles | charles@tradingeconomics.com

The Singaporean economy expanded 2.9 percent year-on-year in the June quarter of 2017, up from 2.5 percent in the prior quarter and stronger than preliminary estimates of a 2.6 percent growth. All sectors recorded positive growth except for the construction and accommodation & food services sectors. The manufacturing sector continued be the best performing sector followed by finance & insurance and transportation & storage, final figures showed.

Year-on-year, the manufacturing sector grew by 8.1 percent, slowing from an 8.5 percent growth in the March quarter 2017 but above initial estimates of 8.0 percent. Electronics and precision engineering clusters drove the expansion, mainly due to strong global demand for semiconductors and semiconductor related equipment. The services producing industries advanced 2.4 percent, compared to a 1.4 percent rise in the prior quarter and higher than preliminary figures of 1.7 percent. Contributions primarily came from transportation & storage, finance & insurance, and "other services industries".

 In contrast, the construction sector contracted by 5.7 percent, extending the 6.3 percent decline in Q1 and steeper than earlier figures of a 5.6 percent drop, due to falls in both private sector and public sector construction output.

In August 2017, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) declared that its GDP forecast for 2017 has been narrowed to "2 to 3 percent" from "1 to 3 percent", adding that GDP growth for the full year is likely to come in around 2.5 percent, barring any unexpected outcomes in the global economy and key sectors in the domestic economy for the rest of the year. The manufacturing sector is likely to remain the key support for the Singaporean economy in the second half of the year with electronics and precision engineering clusters expected to remain strong from robust global demand. Also, the external sectors such as wholesale trade, finance & insurance and transportation & storage are likely to improve from a pickup in global trade flows while the information & communications and education, health & social services sectors are expected to remain resilient.

In 2016, the economy advanced 2 percent, slightly stronger than a 1.9 percent growth in the preceding year.

On a quarterly basis, the GDP grew an annualised 2.2 percent in Q2, rebounding from an upwardly revised 2.1 percent contraction in the previous three months and above preliminary estimates of a 0.5 percent expansion. The recovery was mainly due to turnarounds in construction (+4.9 percent from -15 percent in Q1), wholesale & retail trade (+6.2 percent from -3.7 percent) and finance & insurance (+3.9 percent from -18.7 percent).


Friday July 28 2017
Singapore Jobless Rate Stays At 6-1/2-Year High In Q2
Ministry of Manpower l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Singapore’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 2.2 percent in the June quarter of 2017, the same as in the prior two quarters, preliminary estimates showed. The jobless rate remained at its highest level since the December quarter 2010.

In the three months to June, the jobless rate fell  for residents (3.1 percent from 3.2 percent in the March quarter) and citizens (3.3 percent from 3.5 percent). 

Some 3,500 workers were laid off, lower than the first quarter (4,000) and a year ago (4,800). The decrease over the quarter was broad-based across industries. Services continued to form the bulk of retrenchments/ redundancies (64 percent), followed by manufacturing (22 percent) and construction (13 percent).

Total employment fell 7,800, lower than a decline in the preceding quarter (9,400), but a reversal from the growth a year ago (2,100). The contraction occurred in construction (-9,500) and manufacturing (-2,500), mainly due to a decrease in Work Permit Holders. Services employment continued to grow (4,100, or 3,400 when Foreign Domestic Workers were excluded), though growth was slower than the previous quarter and a year ago. 


Monday July 24 2017
Singapore Inflation Rate Eases To 0.5% YoY In June
Statistics Singapore l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Singapore rose 0.5 percent from a year earlier in June of 2017, compared to a 1.4 percent rise in the prior month and below market consensus of a 0.7 percent increase. Prices increased less than in a month earlier for food and transport while cost of housing declined again.

Year-on-year, prices rose at a slower pace for: household durables & services (0.3 percent from 0.7 percent, largely due to a 1.4 percent increase in household services & supplies) and transport (1.8 percent from 3.8 percent, mainly due to a 3.0 percent rise in private road transport and a 1.0 percent rise in other travel & transport). Cost increased more than in a month earlier for: health care (2.5 percent from 2.4 percent, mainly driven by a 3.4 percent rise in medical & dental treatment). Meantime, cost rebounded for miscellaneous goods & services (0.2 percent from -0.1 percent, driven by a 0.7 percent rise in alcoholic drinks & tobacco, a 4.0 percent rise in personal effects and a 1.7 percent increase in other miscellaneous expenditure).

In contrast, cost fell for: housing & utilities  (-2.0 percent from a 0.1 percent in in a month earlier, mainly due to a 3.9 percent decline in accommodation) and communication (-0.6 percent from 1.0 percent). Inflation was steady for: clothing & footwear (1.9 percent) and education (3.2 percent). 

Prices of food rose 1.4 percent, following a 1.5 percent rise in the previous month. Among food excluding food servicing services, cost increased for bread & cereals (0.7 percent); meat (0.3 percent), fish & seafood (1.2 percent); oils & fats (1.0 percent), fruits (5.4 percent), vegetables (0.8 percent); sugar, preserves & confectionery (1.8 percent) and other food (0.4 percent). Cost was unchanged for: milk, cheese & eggs  and non-alcoholic beverages. Among food servicing services, prices increased for all categories: restaurant foods (1.3 percent), fast food (0.5 percent), hawker food including food courts (1.7 percent) and catered food (1.9 percent).

Core consumer prices which exclude costs of accommodation and private road transport, went up 1.5 percent, following a 1.6 percent gain in May while market estimated a 1.6 percent rise. It was the lowest reading since March.

On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices declined by 0.1 percent, after gaining 0.3 percent in May.


Friday July 14 2017
Singapore Economy Expands 2.5% In Q2
Statistics Singapore l Charles | charles@tradingeconomics.com

The Singaporean economy expanded 2.5 percent year-on-year in the June quarter of 2017, equal to a downwardly revised 2.5 percent growth in the prior quarter and below market consensus of a 2.8 percent growth. While the manufacturing sector and services sector grew steadily, the construction sector continued its decline from last quarter, preliminary estimates showed.

Year-on-year, the manufacturing sector grew by 8.0 percent, compared to an upwardly revised 8.5 percent growth in the preceding quarter. Electronics and precision engineering clusters drove the expansion, namely semiconductors and semiconductor manufacturing equipment. The services producing industries advanced 1.7 percent, compared to a 1.4 percent rise in the prior quarter. Contributions mainly came from transportation & storage and business services sectors.

In contrast, the construction sector contracted by 5.6 percent, albeit slower than a 6.1 percent decline in Q1 due to sustained weakness in both private sector and public sector construction works.

On a quarterly basis, the GDP expanded an annualised 0.4 percent, compared to an upwardly revised 1.9 percent contraction in the previous three months and less than market estimates of a 1.1 percent expansion. The recovery was underpinned by rebounds in the construction sector (+4.3 percent from -14.4 percent in Q1) and services producing industries (+0.4 percent from -2.7 percent), while manufacturing expanded at a faster pace (2.4 percent from 0.4 percent).


Friday June 23 2017
Singapore Inflation Rate At Near 3-Year High Of 1.6%
Statistics Singapore l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Singapore rose 1.4 percent year-on-year in May of 2017, compared to a 0.4 percent rise in the prior month and in line with market consensus. It was the highest inflation rate since June 2014, driven by a surge in cost of housing and a faster increase in prices of food.

Year-on-year, upward prices pressure came from: clothing & footwear (1.9 percent from 0.5 percent in April), household durables & services (0.7 percent from 0.8 percent, largely due to a  1.8 percent increase in household services & supplies); health care (2.4 percent from 3.0 percent, mainly driven by a 3.4 percent rise in medical & dental treatment); transport (3.8 percent from 4.7 percent, mainly due to a 6.1 percent rise in private road transport); communication (1.0 percent from 0.8 percent) and education (3.2 percent from 3.2 percent, due to a 3.2 percent rise in tuition & other fees and a 0.1 percent increase in school textbooks & related study guides). Also, cost of housing & utilities went up 0.1 percent, rebounding from a 4.6 percent drop in the prior month. In contrast, cost fell for: recreation & culture (-0.2 percent from 0.3 percent, largely due to a 0.3 percent drop in recreation & entertainment and a -0.1 percent decline in holiday expenses) and miscellaneous goods & services (-0.1 percent from 0.1 percent, driven by a 1.8 percent fall in personal care).

Prices of food rose 1.5 percent, faster than a 1.3 percent rise in  the previous three months. Among food excluding food servicing services, cost increased for bread & cereals (1.1 percent); meat (0.5 percent), fish & seafood (2.9 percent); milk, cheese & eggs (0.7 percent); fruits (3.5 percent), vegetables (0.5 percent); sugar, preserves & confectionery (4.0 percent) and other food (1.2 percent). In contrast, cos declined for: oils & fats (-1.9 percent) andnon-alcoholic beverages (-0.3 percent). Among food servicing services, prices increased for all categories: restaurant foods (1.3 percent), fast food (0.5 percent), hawker food including food courts (1.7 percent) and catered food (1.7 percent).

Core consumer prices which exclude costs of accommodation and private road transport, went up 1.6 percent, following a 1.7 percent gain in the prior month and matching expectations.

On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices rose 0.3 percent, after falling 0.3 percent in April.


Tuesday June 13 2017
Singapore Jobless Rate Revised Down To 2.2% In Q1
Ministry of Manpower l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Singapore’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 2.2 percent in the March quarter of 2017, the same as in the prior quarter but slightly lower compared to preliminary estimates of 2.3 percent. The jobless rate remained at its highest level since the fourth quarter 2010, as more people entered the labour force while total employment contracted the most since the second quarter 2009.

In the three months to March, the jobless rate was unchanged from the previous quarter for residents (3.2 percent) and citizens (3.5 percent).

Total employment fell by 6,800, following an increase of 2,300  in the fourth quarter and marking the highest quarterly contraction since the June quarter 2009. The decline occured in manufacturing (-4,300) and construction (-12,500), mainly due to a decrease in Work Permit Holders. In contrast, services sector saw employment rose by 9,900.  

Some 4,000 workers were laid off, lower than 5,440 workers in the December quarter and the same period the prior year (4,710). Redundancies declined in manufacturing (890 from 1,990 in the third quarter and marking the lowest figure since the second quarter of 2015 (870) and services (2,440 from 2,840). In contrast, construction reported more redundancies (660 from 580). Services (61 percent) formed the bulk of all layoffs, mainly in wholesale trade (13 percent), financial services (12 percent), and professional services (12 percent). 

The rate of re-entry among residents made redundant was 64.4 percent, compared to 64.7 in the previous quarter. 

The number of job vacancies (seasonally adjusted) among private sector establishments with at least 25 employees and the public sector declined slightly in March 2017. However, vacancies among small private sector establishments employing less than 25 employees went up. That brought total vacancies for the whole economy rose (45,300 from 44,500 in Q3. As a result, the seasonally adjusted ratio of job vacancies to unemployed persons improved slightly, after seven straight quarters of decline.

The seasonally adjusted recruitment rate declined to 2.1 percent in the first quarter 2017 following an uptick in the prior three months.  The recruitment rate has been on a general downtrend since the third quarter 2014. Meanwhile, resignation rate held steady at 1.8 percent since the beginning of 2016.