Monday April 23 2018
Singapore Inflation Rate Slows to 0.2% in March
Statistics Singapore l Chusnul Ch Manan| chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Singapore rose by 0.2 percent year-on-year in March of 2018, easing markedly from a 0.5 percent rise in the prior month while markets estimated a 0.5 percent gain. Food prices rose slightly softer while cost of transport slumped and cost of housing continued to fall.

In March, prices of food advanced 1.4 percent from a year earlier, after a 1.5 percent rise in February. Among food excluding food servicing services, cost increased for: milk, cheese & eggs (1.2 percent); oils & fats (3.6 percent); sugar, preserves & confectionery (1.9 percent); other food (1.6 percent); vegetables (1.3 percent), and and non-alcoholic beverages (0.7 percent). Meantime, prices dropped for meat (-0.4 percent) and bread & cereals (-0.1 percent). Among food servicing services, prices went up for all categories: restaurant foods (1.6 percent); fast food (016 percent); hawker food including food courts (1.5 percent), and catered food (1 percent).
 
Also, cost went up at a slower pace for healthcare (2.1 percent from 2.5 percent in February), mainly due to a 2.7 percent rise in medical & dental treatment and a 0.3 percent gain in medical products, appliances & equipment) and recreation & culture (0.6 percent from 1.6 percent), driven by a 1 percent rise in recreation & entertainment and a 0.3 percent rise in holiday expenses. In addition, cost of household durables & services rose by 0.7 percent (from 0.8 percent, largely due to a 1.9 percent increase in household services & supplies). Meanwhile, cost went up faster than a month earlier for: education (3 percent from  2.9 percent rise in the preceding month, due to a 3 percent rise in tuition & other fees and a 0.3 percent gain in school textbooks & related study guides); miscellaneous goods & services (1 percent from 0.4 percent), due to a 6.4 percent rise in alcoholic drinks & tobacco and a 0.4 percent rise in other miscellaneous expenditure and clothing & footwear (1.2 percent from 0.7 percent).
 
On the other hand, cost fell for transport (-0.5 percent from 0.6 percent), largely due to a 0.6 percent drop in private road transport and a 1.1 percent decrease in public road transport. Also, cost dropped further for housing & utilities (-2 percent from -2.1 percent, mainly due to a 3.4 percent decline in accomodation) and communication (-0.3 percent from -0.1 percent).
 
Core consumer prices which exclude costs of accommodation and private road transport, increased by 1.5 percent, following a 1.7. percent gain in February and slightly below expectations of 1.7 percent.
 
On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices declined by 0.2 percent in March, reversing from a 0.5 percent rise in a month earlier.





Friday April 13 2018
Singapore GDP Growth Climbs to 4.3% in Q1
Mario | mario@tradingeconomics.com

The economy of Singapore expanded 4.3 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2018, according to advanced data, gaining steam from a 3.6 percent climb and matching consensus expectations. It was the second fastest growth rate in thirteen quarters. Manufacturing and wholesale & retail trade grew faster while construction continued to contract.

Within the goods producing industries, manufacturing output grew at a much faster pace of 10.1 percent, following a 4.8 percent jump in the fourth quarter of 2017, with all the clusters expanding in Q1, led by electronics and precision engineering and contributing the most to the sector’s growth. On the other hand, construction output shrank by 4.4 percent after a 5.0 percent contraction in the previous quarters, explained by weakness in both private and public construction works.

The services producing industries also gained steam, expanding 3.8 percent in the first quarter after growing by 3.5 percent in the previous three months. Growth was mainly supported by wholesale & retail trade and finance & insurance.

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualized basis, the GDP rose by 1.4 percent, below the 2.1 percent expansion of the previous quarter but above market expectations of a 1.0 percent climb.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry expects GDP growth for 2018 to come in slightly above the middle of the forecast range of 1.5 to 3.5 percent.




Friday March 23 2018
Singapore Inflation Rate at 3-Month High of 0.5% in February
Statistics Singapore l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Singapore rose by 0.5 percent year-on-year in February of 2018, compared to a flat reading in the prior month while market estimated a 0.45 percent gain. It was the highest inflation rate since November 2017, mainly due to a faster rise in cost of food during Lunar New Year festival.

In February, prices of food advanced 1.5 percent from a year earlier, faster than a 1.1 percent rise in January. It was the highest food inflation in three months. Among food excluding food servicing services, cost increased for most categories: meat (0.4 percent); milk, cheese & eggs (7.3 percent); oils & fats (2.9 percent); sugar, preserves & confectionery (0.7 percent) and other food (0.6 percent). Meantime, prices were flat for vegetables while declined for bread & cereals (-0.1 percent) and non-alcoholic beverages (-0.1 percent). Among food servicing services, prices went up for all categories: restaurant foods (1.7 percent); fast food (0.6 percent), hawker food including food courts (1.4 percent) and catered food (1 percent). 

In addition, cost went up at a faster pace for healthcare (2.5 percent from 2.3 percent in January), mainly due to a 2.7 percent rise in medical & dental treatment and a 1.5 percent gain in medical products, appliances & equipment) and recreation & culture (1.6 percent from 0.8 percent), driven by a 1 percent rise in recreation & entertainment and a 2.5 percent rise in holiday expenses. Also, cost of education rose by 2.9 percent, following a 2.8 percent rise in the preceding month, due to a 3 percent rise in tuition & other fees and a 0.3 percent gain in school textbooks & related study guides. 

Meanwhile, cost rose less for: transport (0.6 percent from 0.7 percent), largely due to a 0.6 percent rise in private road transport and a 4.5 percent increase in other travel & transport; household durables & services (0.8 percent from 1.2 percent, largely due to a 1.7 percent increase in household services & supplies) and miscellaneous goods & services (0.4 percent from 0.5 percent), due to a 1.5 percent rise in personal care, a 0.6 percent increase in alcoholic drinks & tobacco and a 0.3 percent rise in other miscellaneous expenditure. Also, cost of clothing & footwear went up by 0.7 percent, slowing from a 1 percent rise in January.

On the other hand, cost fell for housing & utilities (-2.1 percent from -3.6 percent, mainly due to a 3.6 percent decline in accomodation) and communication (-0.1 percent from a flat reading in the preceding month).

Core consumer prices which exclude costs of accommodation and private road transport, increased by 1.7 percent, following a 1.4 percent gain in January and slightly above expectations of 1.6 percent. It is the highest level since April 2017.

On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices went up 0.5 percent in February, reversing sharply from a 0.2 percent fall in a month earlier and reaching the first monthly rise in three months.


Thursday March 15 2018
Singapore Q4 Jobless Rate Confirmed at 2.1%
Ministry of Manpower l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Singapore’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate came in at 2.1 percent in the December quarter of 2017, in line with the preliminary estimate and the same as a downwardly revised figure in the previous quarter. The jobless rate remained at its lowest since the third quarter 2016. For full 2017, unemployment rate edged up to 2.2 percent, the most since 2010.

In the three months to December, the jobless rate fell for residents (3.0 percent from 3.1 percent) and citizens (3.0 percent from 3.2 percent). 

Total employment increased by 12,700, following declines in the prior three quarters. Employment in services sector surged to 18,200 from 7,400 in the September quarter, supported by hiring for the year-end festive season. Meantime, employment contracted less in manufacturing (-1,300 from -2,100) and construction (-5,700 from -9,500).

Some 3,680 workers were laid off, up from 3,400 workers in the September quarter but still lower than the same period a year ago (5,440).

The rate of re-entry among retrenched residents fell to 63 percent from 66 percent in the preceding quarter.The decline was observed across occupational groups, with clerical, sales & service workers and production & related workers seeing larger declines than professionals, managers, executives and technicians/PMETs.

The number of job vacancies among private sector establishments with at least 25 employees and the public sector stood at 49,700, broadly similar to the prior quarter (49,500). Meantime, including the estimated number of job vacancies from private sector establishments with less than 25 employees, the number of job vacancies for the whole economy posted an increase. The seasonally adjusted ratio of job vacancies to unemployed persons improved to 92 job vacancies per 100 unemployed persons (from 89 in Q3), continuing the uptrend since the beginning of 2017.

Both the seasonally adjusted recruitment rate (2.3 percent from 2.1 percent in Q3) and resignation (1.9 percent from 1.8 percent) went up. This brought the rates back to levels seen two years ago. 

For full 2017, the annual average unemployment rate edged up to 2.2 percent from 2.1 percent in 2016. It was the highest annual figure since 2010. Unemployment increased both among resident (3.1 percent from 3.0 percent in 2016) and citizens (3.3 percent from 3.1 percent). 

Total employment  declined by 10,700, the first drop since 2003 (-11,700). This was due to a larger contraction in foreign employment (-32,000 compared to -2,500 in 2016), mainly from a decrease in Work Permit Holders in the construction and marine shipyard sectors. On the other hand, local employment growth in 2017 (21,300) was nearly double that in 2016 (11,200). Excluding construction and marine shipyard, total employment  grew by 41,300, higher than the growth in 2016 (30,100).  Growth was mainly in the services sectors of community, social & personal services (8,900), administrative & support services (8,600), finance & insurance services (6,200) and transportation & storage (5,900). 

Total retrenchments were lower than the past two years, though it remained higher than the levels seen in 2010 to 2014. On-going business reorganisation and restructuring remained the top reason for retrenchments in 2017.

The annual average rate of re-entry among residents made redundant remained broadly within the range of rates observed in 2016.





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

Consumer prices in Singapore were flat on the year in January of 2018, following a 0.4 percent increase in the prior month and compared to market expectations of a 0.4 percent rise. Cost of food and transport went up at slower paces while cost of housing & utilities fell more.

Year-on-year, prices went up less than in a month earlier for: food (1.1 percent from 1.4 percent in the previous month). Among food excluding food servicing services, cost increased for most categories : milk, cheese & eggs (1.6 percent); oils & fats (3 percent); fruits (0.8 percent); sugar, preserves & confectionery (1.2 percent); other food (1.5 percent); meat (0.1 percent); non-alcoholic beverages (0.4 percent), and bread & cereals (0.3 percent). Also, among food servicing services, prices went up for all categories: restaurant foods (1.2 percent); fast food (1.2 percent), hawker food including food courts (1.5 percent), and catered food (2.2 percent). Also, prices slowed for transport (0.7 percent from 1.4 percent), largely due to a 1.6 percent rise in private road transport while prices decreased for both other travel & transport (-3 percent) and public road  transport (-1.2 percent).
 
On the other hand, cost fell for housing & utilities (-3.6 percent from -2.3 percent, mainly due to a 5.3 percent decline in accomodation).
 
Prices rose faster for household durables & services (1.2 percent from 1.1 percent, largely due to a 2.3 percent increase in household services & supplies); health (2.3 percent from 1.9 percent), mainly due to a 2.6 percent rise in medical & dental treatment and medical products and a 1.1 percent gain in appliances & equipment; recreation & culture (0.8 percent from 0.4 percent), due to a 1.9 percent rise in recreation and entertainment. Also, prices of miscellaneous goods & services went up faster (0.5 percent from 0.1 percent), due to a 0.3 percent rise in personal care, a 0.1 percent increase in alcoholic drinks & tobacco; education (2.8 from 2.6 percent), due to a 2.8 percent rise in tuition & other fees and a 0.3 percent gain in school textbooks & related study guides. In addition, prices rebounded for clothing & footwear (1 percent from -0.2 percent).
 
Inflation was flat for communication (from 0.5 percent in December 2017).
 
Core consumer prices which exclude costs of accommodation and private road transport, rose 1.4 percent, compared to an upwardly revised 1.5 percent gain in December and in line with market expectations.
 
On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices went down 0.2 percent, after decreasing by 0.1 percent in a month earlier.


Wednesday February 14 2018
Singapore Q4 GDP Growth Eases to 3.6%
MTI | Mario | mario@tradingeconomics.com

The economy of Singapore expanded 3.6 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2017, slowing down from a 4-year high of 5.5 percent in the previous period but above the preliminary estimate of 3.1 percent. Manufacturing and wholesale & retail trade growth eased while construction continued to contract.

Within the goods producing industries, manufacturing output grew at a softer 4.8 percent, following a 19.1 percent jump in Q3, as the transport engineering and biomedical sectors contracted on account of the poor performance of the marine & offshore engineering segment as well as lower production of active pharmaceutical ingredients and biological products, respectively. On the other hand, the electronics and precision engineering clusters continued to grow supported by healthy global demand for semiconductors, semiconductor equipment, as well as optical products. Construction output, however, shrank by 5 percent after a 9.3 percent contraction in Q3, primarly due to weakness in private sector construction works.

Within the services producing industries, output growth moderated for: finance & insurance (6.3 percent vs 7.1 percent in Q3), amid robust growth in the fund management segment; wholesale & retail trade (3 percent vs 3.3 percent), largely due to improved sales in petroleum & petroleum-related products, telecommunications & computers, and electronic components; and business services (0.4 percent vs 0.5 percent), supported by both the professional services and other segments. At the same time, output expanded faster for: transportation & storage (5.3 percent vs 5.2 percent), driven by water and air transport; accommodation & food services (2.9 percent vs 1.3 percent); information & communications (6 percent vs 5.1 percent), supported by the IT & information services segment; and other services industries (2.7 percent vs 2 percent).

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualised basis, the GDP rose by 2.1 percent, below the preliminary estimate of 2.8 percent and compared with 11.2 percent in the previous period.

Considering full 2017, the Singapore economy grew by 3.6 percent, faster than 2.4 percent in 2016. The manufacturing sector expanded by 10.1 percent (vs 3.7 percent in 2016), driven by the electronics and precision engineering clusters; and the services producing industries advanced by 2.8 percent, higher than the 1.4 percent growth in 2016, supported by the finance & insurance, wholesale & retail trade, and transportation & storage sectors.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry expects GDP growth for 2018 to come in slightly above the middle of the forecast range of 1.5 to 3.5 percent. 


Friday January 26 2018
Singapore Q4 Jobless Rate Lowest in 5 Quarters
Ministry of Manpower | Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Singapore’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate edged down to 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017 after remaining at 2.2 percent in the previous four quarters, preliminary estimates showed. It was the lowest jobless rate since the third quarter 2016. For full 2017, unemployment rate edged up to 2.2 percent, the most since 2010, compared to 2.1 percent in a year earlier.

In the three months to December, the jobless rate fell for both residents (2.9 percent from 3.1 percent in Q3) and citizens (3.0 percent from 3.2 percent).

In Q4 some 3,300 workers were laid off, comapared to 3,400 in the previous quarter and 5,440 in Q4 of 2016. Retrenchments decreased in construction and services, but rose in manufacturing.

Total employment increased by 12,800, compared to a 2,300 decline in the preceding quarter. It is the first rise since the last quarter 2016 as employment grew in services, supported by hiring for the year-end festive season. Meantime, manufacturing and construction employment continued to contract, but at a slower pace.

For full 2017, unemployment rate edged up to 2.2 percent from 2.1 percent in a year earlier. It was the highest figure since 2010. The jobless rate rose for both resident (3.1 percent from 3.0 percent) and citizens (3.3 percent from 3.1 percent). Total employment declined by 10,700 (-0.3 percent), the first drop since 2003. This was due to a larger contraction in foreign employment (-32,000 or -2.8 percent) compared to 2016 (-2,500 or -0.2 percent), even though local employment continued to grow. Across sectors, employment contracted for manufacturing (-11,500) and construction (-38,200). In contrast, employment went up in services (39,400). The number of retrenchments were recorded at 14,340, significantly lower than in 2016 (19,170). Compared with 2016, the number of layoffs declined in manufacturing and services, and remained similar in construction. Services contributed the bulk of retrenchments in 2017.


Tuesday January 23 2018
Singapore Inflation Rate Slows to 0.4% in December
Statistics Singapore l Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Singapore rose 0.4 percent from a year earlier in December of 2017, easing from a 0.6 percent increase in the prior month. The figure was below market expectations of a 0.55 percent rise, as cost of food and transport went up at slower paces while cost of housing & utilities continued to fall.

Year-on-year, prices went up less than in a month earlier for: food (1.4 percent from 1.5 percent in the previous month). Among food excluding food servicing services, cost increased for most categories : milk, cheese & eggs (0.8 percent); fish & seafood (2.3 percent); oils & fats (2.2 percent); fruits (2.4 percent); sugar, preserves & confectionery (3.7 percent); other food (1 percent); meat (1 percent); non-alcoholic beverages (0.9 percent), and bread & cereals (0.4 percent). Also, among food servicing services, prices went up for all categories: restaurant foods (1.3 percent); fast food (1.5 percent), hawker food including food courts (1.6 percent), and catered food (1.3 percent). Also, prices slowed for transport (1.4 percent from 2.6 percent), largely due to a 2.6 percent rise in private road transport while prices decreased for both other travel & transport (-0.7percent) and public road  transport (-2.1 percent); communication (0.5 percent from 1.5 percent); health (1.9 percent from 2 percent), mainly due to a 2.5 percent rise in medical & dental treatment; recreation & culture (0.4 percent from 0.8 percent), due to a 1.1 percent rise in recreation.
 
On the other hand, cost fell for housing & utilities (-2.3 percent from -2.4 percent, mainly due to a 3.8 percent decline in accomodation); clothing & footwear (-0.2 percent from 0.7 percent).
  
Prices rose faster for household durables & services (1.1 percent from 1 percent, largely due to a 2.5 percent increase in household services & supplies). Also, prices of miscellaneous goods & services rebounded (0.1 percent from -0.4 percent), due to a 1.2 percent rise in personal care and a 2.3 percent increase in other miscellaneous expenditure.
 
Inflation was steady for: education (2.6 from 2.6 percent), due to a 2.6 percent rise in tuition & other fees and a 0.9 percent gain in school textbooks & related study guides.
 
Core consumer prices which exclude costs of accommodation and private road transport, rose 1.3 percent, compared to a 1.5 percent gain in November and below market expectations of a 1.5 percent rise.
 
On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices edged down 0.1 percent, after increasing by 0.6 percent in a month earlier.
 
 
 
 
 


Tuesday January 02 2018
Singapore GDP Annual Growth Beats Forecasts in Q4
MTI | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

The economy of Singapore expanded 3.1 percent year-on-year in the last three months of 2017, below an upwardly revised 5.4 percent rise in the previous quarter which was the highest growth rate in nearly four years. Figures came above market expectations of 2.7 percent, according to advance estimates. Considering full 2017, the GDP advanced 3.5 percent, higher than 2 percent in 2016 and the fastest expansion since 2014.

The manufacturing sector increased 6.2 percent, following a 19.2 percent jump in Q3, boosted by robust expansions in the electronics and precision clusters which outweighed output declines in biomedical manufacturing and transport engineering.
 
The services sector went up 3 percent, moderating from a 3.2 percent rise in Q3. Growth was mainly driven by finance and insurance; wholesale and retail trade and transportation and storage.
 
The construction sector shrank 8.5 percent, extending the 7.7 percent decline in Q3 and mainly due to weakness in private sector activities.
 
On a quarterly basis, the economy advanced an annualized 2.8 percent, below 9.4 percent in Q3 and market expectations of 2.9 percent. 


Tuesday December 26 2017
Singapore Inflation Rate at 4-Month High of 0.6%
Statistics Singapore | Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Singapore increased 0.6 percent from a year earlier in November of 2017, accelerating from a 0.4 percent rise in the prior month and beating market expectations of 0.5 percent. It was the highest inflation since July, as cost of transport increased at a faster pace while prices of food continued to rise.

Year-on-year, prices went up more than in a month earlier for: transport (2.6 percent from 1.1 percent), largely due to a 4.1 percent rise in private road transport and other travel & transport (1.1 percent); household durables & services (1 percent from 0.7 percent, largely due to a 2.3 percent increase in household services & supplies); recreation & culture (0.8 percent from 0.7 percent), due to a 0.9 percent rise in recreation, a 0.1 percent increase in newspapers, books&stationery, and a 0.7 percent rise in holiday expenses;  communication (1.5 percent from 1.0 percent).

Inflation was steady for: education (2.6 percent), due to a 2.6 percent rise in tuition & other fees and a 0.9 percent gain in school textbooks & related study guides; clothing & footwear (0.7 percent).
  
Prices rose less for health (2 percent from 2.2 percent), mainly due to a 2.7 percent rise in medical & dental treatment.
 
Prices of food rose 1.5 percent, the same pace as in the previous month. Among food excluding food servicing services, cost increased for all categories : milk, cheese & eggs (0.3 percent); fish & seafood (1.9 percent); oils & fats (1.7 percent); fruits (2.2 percent); sugar, preserves & confectionery (4.7 percent); vegetables (2 percent); other food (1.3 percent); meat (0.8 percent); non-alcoholic beverages (1.9 percent), and bread & cereals (1 percent). Also, among food servicing services, prices went up for all categories: restaurant foods (1.1 percent); fast food (1 percent), hawker food including food courts (1.6 percent), and catered food (1.3 percent).
 
On the other hand, cost fell for housing & utilities (-2.4 percent from -2.7 percent, mainly due to a 3.9 percent decline in accomodation); miscellaneous goods & services (-0.4 percent from 0.9 percent), due to a 1.6 percent fall in personal care.
 
Core consumer prices which exclude costs of accommodation and private road transport, rose 1.5 percent, the same pace as in October and in line with market expectations.
 
On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices went up 0.6 percent, after decreasing by 0.3 percent in a month earlier.