Wednesday January 02 2019
Singapore Q4 GDP Growth Weakest in Over 2 Years
Statistics Singapore | Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The economy of Singapore grew an annual 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, following an upwardly revised 2.3 percent expansion in the previous three-month period and missing market expectations of 2.7 percent, a preliminary estimate showed. It was the weakest growth rate since the third quarter of 2016 as services expansion slowed and construction output continued to fall.

Services producing industries increased 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter (vs 2.6 percent in Q3), mainly supported by finance & insurance, business services and information & communications sectors. At the same time, construction output shrank 2.2 percent, following a 2.5 percent contraction in the previous period, primarily due to weakness in public sector construction activities. On the other hand, manufacturing production grew 5.5 percent in the three months to December, faster than the 3.7 percent increase in the previous period, largely driven by robust output expansions in the biomedical manufacturing and electronics clusters, which more than offset the output decline in the precision engineering cluster.

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualised basis, the economy expanded 1.6 percent, following an upwardly revised 3.5 percent growth in the September quarter and also missing market consensus of 2.9 percent. Output growth eased for both services producing industries (3.7 percent vs 5.3 percent in Q3) and construction (1.1 percent vs 3.3 percent), while manufacturing slumped 8.7 percent, reversing a 3.1 percent growth in the third quarter.

For 2018 as a whole, the economy grew 3.3 percent, compared to a 3.6 percent expansion in 2017.




Wednesday December 26 2018
Singapore Inflation Rate at 7-Month Low of 0.3% in November
Statistics Singapore l Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Singapore's annual inflation rate slowed to a 7-month low of 0.3 percent in November 2018 from 0.7 percent in the previous month and below market consensus of 0.6 percent. Food inflation remained at its lowest in five months, while cost of transport fell further.

In November, food inflation came in at 1.4 percent, unchanged from the previous month and remaining at its lowest since May. Among food excluding food servicing services, cost continued to rise for: bread & cereals (1.6 percent vs 1.8 percent in October); fish & seafood (2.4 percent vs 2.6 percent); milk, cheese & eggs (2 percent vs 1.8 percent); oils & fats (4.3 percent vs 2.7 percent); fruits (3.2 percent vs 2.8 percent), while was flat for vegetables (vs -1.6 percent in October), and declined for meat (-0.5 percent vs -0.4 percent); and sugar, preserves & confectionery (-1.4 percent vs 1.6 percent). Among food servicing services, inflation was stable for restaurant food (at 1.8 percent); hawker food including food courts (at 1.5 percent); and catered (at 0.9 percent), while eased for fast food (0.1 percent vs 0.2 percent).

At the same time, cost eased for housing & utilities (a flat reading vs -0.2 percent in October), driven by accommodation (-2.1 percent vs -2.5 percent) and fuel & utilities (14.2 percent vs 15.1 percent); clothing & footwear (0.8 percent vs 1.2 percent in October); household durables & services (0.7 percent vs 0.9 percent); healthcare (1.6 percent vs 1.8 percent); and recreation & culture (0.9 percent vs 1.0 percent). Also, cost fell further for transport (-2.8 percent vs -0.5 percent), mainly due to private road transport (-3.6 percent vs -0.6 percent); and communication (-3 percent vs -1.2 percent). In contrast, inflation was steady for education (at 3.2 percent), and increased markedly for miscellaneous goods & services (1.4 percent vs 1.1 percent), largely due to personal care (0.8 percent vs 0.3 percent) and alcoholic drinks & tobacco (5.8 percent vs 6.1 percent). 

Annual core inflation, which exclude costs of accommodation and private road transport, fell to 1.7 percent in November 2018 from 1.9 percent in October and lower than market expectations of 1.9 percent. It was the lowest figure since June.

On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices went up 0.2 percent, after a 0.3 percent fall in October and marking the highest reading in three months.





Thursday December 13 2018
Singapore Q3 Jobless Rate Confirmed at 2.1%
Ministry of Manpower l Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Singapore’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate inched higher to 2.1 percent in the third quarter of 2018 from a two-year low of 2 percent in the previous quarter and in line with the preliminary estimate. It was the highest jobless rate since the last quarter of 2017, reflecting a continued inflow of job seekers into the labor market.

In the three months to September, the jobless rate held steady for both residents (at 2.9 percent) and citizens (3.0 percent).
Total employment increased by 16,700, more than double the increase in the previous quarter (6,500), and was the highest quarterly growth since the fourth quarter of 2014 (38,300). Services was the main driver of total employment growth (13,800 excluding foreign domestic workers /FDW), led by higher-skilled sectors such as professional services (3,400), information & communications (3,100), community, social & personal services (2,500) and financial & insurance services (2,500, mostly in financial services). Employment also rose in manufacturing (3,500), after sustained declines since the fourth quarter of 2014. Within manufacturing, employment increases were mainly seen in electronics (1,600), transport equipment (1,500) and petroleum, chemical & pharmaceutical products (1,300). Although employment in construction continued to contract in the third quarter of 2018 (-300), the decline has eased considerably from the preceding quarters.Cumulatively for the first three quarters of 2018, total employment (excluding FDW) grew by 23,600, a contrast to the contraction of 21,400 in 2017. 
Some 2,860 workers were laid off, lower than that in the second quarter (3,030) and a year ago (3,400). The decline was observed in construction, while manufacturing and services posted broadly similar levels of retrenchments. Business restructuring and reorganisation remained the top reason for retrenchment, accounting for 60 percent of total retrenchments. On the other hand, retrenchments due to recession and poor business declined. 
Meanwhile, the six-month re-entry rate among retrenched residents fell to 62 percent from 64 percent in the June quarter, and relatively similar to the first quarter (61 percent). The decline was due to those previously employed in clerical and production & related jobs.
The tightening of the labour market may have started to ease. Even though there continues to be more vacancies than job seekers for the third consecutive quarter, the seasonally adjusted ratio of job vacancies to unemployed persons dipped to 1.05 in the third quarter from 1.10 in the previous period. This was due to an increase in the overall number of unemployed, and a slight decline in total vacancies for the whole economy. 
The seasonally adjusted recruitment and resignation rates eased from a quarter ago. However, hiring activity remained higher than the same period a year ago. Recruitment rates were higher across most industries, with larger increases observed in real estate services, cleaning & landscaping, construction and higher-skilled industries such as financial services and professional services. Resignation rate declined over the year, led by food & beverage services and administrative & support services.




Friday November 23 2018
Singapore Inflation Rate Unchanged in October
Statistics Singapore | Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Singapore's annual inflation rate came in at 0.7 percent in October 2018, unchanged from the previous month and slightly below market consensus of 0.8 percent. Food prices rose at a slower pace while cost of housing and transport continued to fall.

Food inflation eased to 1.4 percent in October from 1.6 percent a month earlier. Among food excluding food servicing services, cost increased less for bread & cereals (1.8 percent vs 2.9 percent in September) and fruits (2.8 percent vs 3.3 percent); and declined for both vegetables (-1.6 percent vs -1.1 percent) and meat (-0.4 percent vs -0.3 percent). By contrast, prices increased further for oils & fats (2.7 percent vs 0.7 percent), and milk, cheese & eggs (1.8 percent vs 1.5 percent). Among food servicing services, inflation eased for restaurant food (1.8 percent vs 2.0 percent) and hawker food including food courts (1.5 percent vs 1.6 percent).

Also, inflation slowed for clothing & footwear (1.2 percent vs 1.8 percent); healthcare (1.8 percent vs 2 percent); and recreation & culture (1.0 percent vs 1.2 percent); and was steady for miscellaneous goods & services (at 1.1 percent). In addition, prices continued to fall for housing & utilities (-0.2 percent vs -0.5 percent), transport (-0.5 percent vs -0.1 percent) and communication (-1.2 percent vs -1.6 percent). Meanwhile, prices went up faster for education (3.2 percent vs 2.9 percent) and household durables & services (0.9 percent vs 0.8 percent).

Annual core inflation, which exclude costs of accommodation and private road transport, edged up to 1.9 percent in October 2018 from 1.8 percent in September and matching expectations.

On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices fell 0.3 percent in October, after a flat reading in September.


Thursday November 22 2018
Singapore GDP Expands Below Expectations
Mario | mario@tradingeconomics.com

The economy of Singapore grew an annual 2.2 percent in the third quarter of 2018, below market expectations of a 2.4 percent expansion; the 2.6 preliminary estimate, and the 4.2 percent print for the previous quarter, final data showed.

It was the slowest growth rate in eight quarters. Moderate growth was mainly explained by manufacturing, which expanded 3.5 percent (vs original 4.5 percent) after a 10.7 percent expansion in the previous quarter, with growth observed in all clusters. Meantime, services grew at a 2.4 percent pace (vs original 2.9 percent and vs 2.8 percent in Q2). In contrast, construction extended its contraction, shrinking 2.3 percent (vs original -3.1 percent) after falling 4.2 percent in Q2.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) announced today that the Singapore economy is expected to grow by “3.0 to 3.5 per cent” in 2018, narrowing from "2.5 to 3.5 per cent", and by “1.5 to 3.5 per cent” in 2019, as the pace of economic expansion across most of the major advanced and regional economies is expected to ease from 2018’s levels, in part due to the impact of the ongoing trade conflicts between the US and its key trading partners.

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualized basis, the economy expanded a seasonally-adjusted annualized 3.0 percent quarter-on-quarter in the third quarter of 2018, well above the 1.0 percent final growth for the previous quarter but missing expectations of a 4.2 percent increase and well below the preliminary 4.7 percent print. It was the fastest expansion in four quarters.


Friday October 26 2018
Singapore Q3 Jobless Rate Highest in 3 Quarters
Ministry of Manpower l Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Singapore’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate edged up to 2.1 percent in the September quarter of 2018 from a downwardly revised 2.0 percent in the previous period, a preliminary estimate showed. It was the highest jobless rate since the fourth quarter 2017.

In the third quarter, the jobless rate held steady for both residents (at 2.9 percent) and citizens (3.0 percent).

Total employment increased by 15,200 as employers quickened the pace of hiring, more than double than that in the June quarter (6,500), and  a reversal from a decline in the September quarter 2017 (-4,100). The higher employment growth in the third quarter 2018 was broad based. Increases were observed in manufacturing (3,500) after fifteen consecutive quarters of fall. Also, there were gains in services (12,300 excluding foreign domestic workers/ FDW), such as in professional services, information & communications, community, social & personal services and financial & insurance. In contrast, employment in construction declined by 400, reflecting weakness in public sector construction activities. Still, the pace of decline was slower than those of previous quarters.

Some 2,500 workers were laid off, lower than that in the second quarter (3,030) and the same period a year ago (3,400). Retrenchments in construction and services were lower over the quarter but remained similar in manufacturing. Services (60 percent) and manufacturing (32 percent) contributed to most of the retrenchments, while construction (8 percent) made up the rest. Cumulatively for the first three quarters of 2018, retrenchment was lower than the same periods in the preceding two years.


Tuesday October 23 2018
Singapore September Inflation Rate Below Estimates
Statistics Singapore l Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Singapore's annual inflation rate came in at 0.7 percent in September of 2018, unchanged from the previous month but below market consensus of 0.8 percent. Prices rose less mainly for food, clothing & footwear and recreation & culture. Meanwhile, inflation picked up for education and cost dropped at a slower pace for housing and transport.

In September, food inflation eased to 1.6 percent from 1.7 percent in a month earlier. Among food excluding food servicing services, cost increased less for: oils & fats (0.7 percent vs 3.9 percent in August); fruit (3.3 percent vs 3.4 percent); sugar, preserves & confectionery (1.7 percent vs 3.3 percent) and non-alcoholic beverages(2.2 percent vs 2.3 percent) and declined for both vegetables (-1.1 percent vs 0.4 percent) and meat (-0.3 percent vs -0.8 percent). Conversely, prices advanced further for bread & cereals (2.9 percent vs 2.3 percent); milk, cheese & eggs (1.5 percent vs 1.4 percent); and other food (2.1 percent vs 1.7 percent). Among food servicing services, inflation rose for restaurant food (2.0 percent vs 1.9 percent), hawker food including food courts (1.6 percent vs 0.4 percent); while eased for fast food (0.2 percent vs 0.4 percent); and was unchanged for catered food (at 1.7 percent).

Also, inflation slowed for clothing & footwear (1.8 percent vs 2.8 percent) and recreation & culture (1.2 percent vs 1.6 percent), due to holiday expenses (2.7 percent, the same as in the prior month). Meantime, inflation was steady for miscellaneous goods & services (at 1.1 percent) and healthcare (at 2 percent).

Meanwhile, prices went up faster for education (2.9 percent vs 2.4 percent) and household durables & services (0.8 percent vs 0.7 percent), mainly due to household services & supplies (1.3 percent, the same as in August). 

In addition, prices fell at a slower pace for housing & utilities (-0.5 percent vs -0.6 percent) and transport (-0.1 percent vs -0.2 percent) but more for communication (-1.6 percent vs -1.5 percent).

The annual core inflation, which exclude costs of accommodation and private road transport, eased to 1.8 percent in September 2018 from 1.9 percent in August and slightly below expectations of 1.9 percent.

On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices were flat, after a 0.4 percent rise in August.
 
 
 


Friday October 12 2018
Singapore Economy Expands 2.6% YoY in Q3
Mario | mario@tradingeconomics.com

The economy of Singapore grew an annual 2.6 percent in the third quarter of 2018, slightly above market expectations of a 2.5 percent expansion but well below the 4.1 percent final growth rate for the previous quarter, advanced data showed.

Moderate growth was mainly explained by manufacturing, which expanded 4.5 percent after a 10.6 percent expansion in the previous quarter, with growth mainly nudged by output expansions in the electronics, biomedical manufacturing and transport engineering clusters. Meantime, services grew at a 2.9 percent pace for the second straight quarter, mainly supported by growth in finance & insurance, business services and wholesale & retail trade sectors. In contrast, construction extended its contraction, shrinking 3.1 percent after falling 4.2 percent in Q2, as weakness in public construction activities persisted.

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualized basis, GDP expanded 4.7 percent quarter-on-quarter in the third quarter of 2018, well above the 1.2 percent final growth for the previous quarter but missing expectations of a 4.9 percent increase. It was the fastest expansion in four quarters, mainly nudged by further growth in manufacturing (7.6 percent vs 2.9 percent in Q2) and services (6.3 percent vs 0.7 percent), and a rebound in construction (1.7 percent vs -14.5 percent). 


Monday September 24 2018
Singapore Inflation Rate Rises to 15-Month High in August
Statistics Singapore l Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Singapore's annual inflation rate edged up to 0.7 percent in August of 2018 from 0.6 percent in the previous month and matching market consensus. It was the highest rate since May 2017, driven by a faster rise in prices of food while cost of housing and transport fell less.

In August, food inflation rose to a 19-month high of 1.7 percent from 1.5 percent in a month earlier. Among food excluding food servicing services, cost increased for: bread & cereals (2.3 percent vs 1.5 percent in July); fish and seafood (2.5 percent vs 2.8 percent); milk, cheese & eggs (1.4 percent vs 1.3 percent); oils & fats (3.9 percent vs 3.1 percent); fruit (3.4 percent vs 2.6 percent); vegetables (0.4 percent vs -0.2 percent); sugar, preserves & confectionary (3.3 percent vs 1.6 percent); non-alcoholic beverages  (2.3 percent vs 1.5 percent); and other food (1.7 percent vs 1.2 percent), while declined only or meat (-0.8 percent vs 0.6 percent). Among food servicing services, inflation rose for restaurant food (1.9 percent vs 1.7 percent), while eased for hawker food including food courts (0.4 percent vs 1.5 percent); and fast food (0.4 percent vs 0.6 percent);  and unchanged for catered food (at 1.7 percent).

Also, prices rose further for miscellaneous goods & services (1.1 percent vs 0.9 percent) and household durables & services (0.7 percent vs 0.5 percent), mainly due to household services & supplies (1.3 percent vs 1.1 percent). Additionally, cost fell at a softer pace for housing & utilities (-0.6 percent vs -1 percent) and transport (-0.2 percent vs -0.3 percent).

On the other hand, prices slowed for recreation & culture (1.6 percent vs 1.7 percent in July), due to holiday expenses (2.7 percent vs 2.8 percent) and dropped for communication (-1.5 percent vs 0.2 percent); and clothing & footwear (-0.6 percent vs 2.3 percent). In addition, inflation was steady for education (at 2.4 percent, the same as in July); and healthcare (at 2 percent).

Core consumer prices, which exclude costs of accommodation and private road transport, increased by 1.9 percent, the same as in July but slightly below expectations of 2 percent.

On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices rose by 0.4 percent, compared to a 0.1 percent fall in August and marking the highest monthly level in three months.


Thursday September 13 2018
Singapore Q2 Jobless Rate Confirmed at 2.1%
Ministry of Manpower l Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Singapore’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate inched higher to 2.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018 from a two-year low of 2 percent in the previous quarter and in line with the preliminary estimate. Layoff increased markedly while more people entered the labor force on the back of continued expansion in domestic economy.

In the three months to June, the jobless rate edged up for both residents (2.9 percent from 2.8 percent in Q1) and citizens (3.1 percent from 3 percent).

Total employment increased by 6,500, larger than the increase in the preceding quarter (3,700 or 400 excluding foreign domestic workers (FDW)). The growth continued to come from services (7,200), as increases outweighed the slowing declines in manufacturing (-100) and construction (-700). The services industries that contributed most to employment growth were transportation & storage, information & communications, community, social & personal services, and financial & insurance services.

Some 3,030 workers were laid off, higher than the prior quarter of 2,320, largely due to reorganisation and restructuring, but remained lower than the same period a year ago (3,640).

The rate of re-entry among retrenched residents improved to 64 percent after declining in the past two quarters, with broad-based increases across most age and education groups.

The number of job vacancies continued its uptrend since June 2017 to a 3-year high of 56,700 in the June quarter. As the increase in unemployed persons was relatively smaller, the seasonally adjusted ratio of job vacancies to unemployed persons rose markedly to 108 job vacancies per 100 job seekers in June 2018, from 104 in March 2018.