Friday July 13 2018
Singapore GDP Growth Slows to 3.8% YoY in Q2
Mario | mario@tradingeconomics.com

The economy of Singapore advanced 3.8 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2018, according to advance data, losing steam from a downwardly revised 4.3 percent climb in Q1 and below consensus expectations of a 4 percent expansion. Manufacturing and services lost steam, whereas construction contracted at a slower pace.

Within the goods producing industries, manufacturing output grew at slower pace of 8.6 percent (vs 9.7 percent in the previous quarter), with all clusters expanding during the quarter and electronics and biomedical engineering contributing the most to the sector’s growth. On the other hand, construction output shrank by 4.4 percent after a 5.2 percent contraction in the previous quarter, explained primarily by weakness in private construction works.

The services producing industries also lost steam, expanding 3.4 percent in the second quarter after growing by 4.0 percent in the previous three months. Growth was mainly supported by finance & insurance and wholesale & retail trade.

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualized basis, the GDP rose by 1.0 percent, below the 1.5 percent expansion in the previous quarter.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry expects GDP growth for 2018 between 2.5 to 3.5 percent.




Monday June 25 2018
Singapore Inflation Rate at 3-Month High of 0.4% in May
Statistics Singapore l Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Singapore's consumer price inflation rose to 0.4 percent year-on-year in May of 2017 from 0.1 percent in the previous month and above market consensus of 0.3 percent. It is the highest rate since February, as cost of transport picked up and prices of food continued to increase while cost of housing fell less.

In May, cost rose at a faster pace for: household durables & services (0.8 percent from 0.7 percent), mainly due to a 1.7 percent growth in household services & supplies; healthcare (2.3 percent from 2 percent), largely due to a 0.6 percent gain in medical products, appliances & equipment and a 2.8 percent increase in medical & dental treatment; recreation & culture (1.2 percent from 0.7 percent), driven by a 0.5 percent rise in recreation & entertainment,  a 0.1 percent increase in newspapers an entertainment, and a 2.5 percent gain in holiday expenses; and miscellaneous goods & services (1.1 percent from 0.5 percent), mainly driven by a 5.7 percent rise in alcoholic beverages & tobacco and a 0.4 percent rise in other miscellaneous expenditure.

Meanwhile, cost of transport was flat, compared to a 0.7 percent fall in a month earlier, due to a 0.1 percent rise in private road transport and a 1.1 percent fall in public road transport. In addition, cost fell less for: housing & utilities (-2 percent from -2.3 percent, mainly due to a 3.2 percent drop in accomodation); and communication (-0.8 percent from -1.3 percent). On the other hand, inflation was steady for education (at 2.9 percent), due to a 3 percent rise in tuition & other fees and a 0.3 percent gain in school textbooks & related study guides.

Prices of food increased 1.3 percent, after a 1.4 percent rise in April. Among food excluding food servicing services, cost went up for: bread & cereals (1 percent); meat (0.1 percent); fish and seafood (1.8 percent); milk, cheese & eggs (1.3 percent); oils & fats (3.4 percent); sugar, preserves & confectionery (0.3 percent); other food (2.3 percent); non-alcoholic beverages (1.3 percent); while fell for vegetables (-1.1 percent). Among food servicing services, prices advanced for all categories: restaurant foods (0.7 percent); fast food (0.1 percent); hawker food including food courts (1.6 percent), and catered food (0.3 percent).

Core consumer prices which exclude costs of accommodation and private road transport, increased by 1.5 percent, following a 1.3 percent gain in April and slightly above expectations of 1.4 percent. 

On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices went up by 0.6 percent, compared to a 0.5 percent fall in a month earlier. It is the highest monthly figure since November last year.




Wednesday June 13 2018
Singapore Q1 Jobless Rate Confirmed at 2-Year Low of 2%
Ministry of Manpower l Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Singapore’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate inched down to 2 percent in the March quarter of 2018 from 2.1 percent in the previous quarter and in line with the preliminary estimate. It is the lowest jobless rate since the first quarter 2016, as layoff declined the most in five years while jobs openings outnumbered job seekers for the first time in two years.

In the three months to March, the jobless rate fell for residents (2.8 percent from 3 percent), while was unchanged for citizens (at 3 percent). 

Total employment increased by 3,700, following the seasonal high in the previous quarter (10,700), and was a reversal from the decline in the same period a year ago (-9,400).  Excluding foreign domestic workers (FDW), employment grew by 400. Total employment growth was supported by an increase in services (9,700 excluding FDW), led by community, social & personal services (3,900), financial & insurance services (2,800), transportation & storage (2,300) and information & communications (1,800). On the other hand, due to fewer Work Permit Holders, manufacturing and construction saw employment contracted by 3,800 and 5,600 respectively, though the decline was smaller than a year ago (-4,400 and -12,500 respectively).

Some 2,320 workers were laid off, a decrease from 3,680 workers in the December quarter to a five-year low. The decline over the quarter was broad-based across industries. Services formed the bulk of the retrenchments (63 percent), mainly in wholesale trade, financial services, and professional services. Business restructuring and reorganisation continued to be the top reason cited for retrenchments.

The rate of re-entry among retrenched residents fell for the second straight quarter to 61 percent. The decline was more notable among professionals, managers, executives and technicians/PMETs, residents with post-secondary (non-tertiary) and diploma & professional qualifications, as well as residents aged 30 to 39. On the other hand, residents aged below 30 and 50 & over, as well as those with secondary and below qualifications posted increases in re-entry rate over the quarter. 

The number of job vacancies among private sector establishments with at least 25 employees and the public sector rose to 53,900 from 49,700 in the fourth quarter, similar to the level observed in December 2015 (54,000). Coupled with fewer unemployed persons over the quarter, the seasonally adjusted ratio of job vacancies to unemployed persons improved to 104 per 100 jobseekers from 92 in the December quarter. It is the first time since the first quarter 2016 that there were more job openings than unemployed persons. 




Thursday May 24 2018
Singapore GDP Growth Revised Higher to 4.4% in Q1
Mario | mario@tradingeconomics.com

The economy of Singapore expanded 4.4 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2018, according to final data, gaining steam from a 3.6 percent climb in the previous period and surpassing expectations and the advanced estimate of 4.3 percent. It was the fastest growth rate in sixteen quarters.

Within the goods producing industries, manufacturing output grew at a much faster pace of 9.8 percent (vs 10.1 percent in advanced data), 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 5.0 percent after a 5.0 percent contraction in the previous quarters (and vs a 4.4 percent fall in advanced estimate), explained by weakness in both private and public construction works.

The services producing industries also gained steam, expanding 4.1 percent in the first quarter after growing by 3.5 percent in the previous three months and above 3.8 percent in the preliminary figures. Growth was mainly supported by finance & insurance (9.1 percent vs 6.3 percent in Q4) and information & communications (5.7 percent vs 6 percent in Q4).

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualized basis, the GDP rose by 1.7 percent, below the 2.1 percent expansion and compared to 1.4 percent in advanced data.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry expects GDP growth for 2018 between 2.5 to 3.5 percent.


Wednesday May 23 2018
Singapore Inflation Rate at 3-Month Low of 0.1%
Statistics Singapore l Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Singapore edged up 0.1 percent year-on-year in April of 2018, easing from a 0.2 percent rise in the prior month while market estimated a 0.3 percent gain. It is the lowest inflation rate since January, as inflation of food was steady while both housing and transport prices fell more than in a month earlier.

In April, prices of food advanced 1.4 percent from a year earlier, the same pace as in March. Among food excluding food servicing services, cost increased for: milk, cheese & eggs (0.7 percent); oils & fats (4.5 percent); sugar, preserves & confectionery (2.5 percent); other food (0.8 percent); non-alcoholic beverages (2.1 percent); fish and seafood (1.9 percent) and bread & cereals (0.5 percent) while prices were unchanged for vegetables. Among food servicing services, prices went up for all categories: restaurant foods (1.7 percent); fast food (0.1 percent); hawker food including food courts (1.7 percent), and catered food (0.3 percent).

Meantime, cost went up at a slower pace for: healthcare (2 percent from 2.1 percent in March); education (2.9 percent from 3 percent, 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 (0.5 percent from 1 percent). Also, prices of household durables & services went up by 0.7 percent (the same as in the prior month). In addition, cost fell more for transport (-0.7 percent from -0.5 percent), largely due to a 0.8 percent drop in private road transport and a 1.1 percent decrease in public road transport; and housing & utilities (-2.3 percent from -2 percent, mainly due to a 3.6 percent decline in accomodation); and communication (-1.3 percent from -0.3 percent).

On the other hand, inflation ticked up for recreation & culture (0.7 percent from 0.6 percent), driven by a 0.4 percent rise in recreation & entertainment,  a 0.1 percent increase in newspapers an entertainment, and a 1.1 percent rise in holiday expenses.

Core consumer prices which exclude costs of accommodation and private road transport, increased by 1.3 percent, following a 1.5. percent gain in February and slightly below expectations of 1.4 percent. It is the lowest inflation since March 2017.

On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices declined by 0.5 percent in April, compared to a 0.2 percent fall in a month earlier.
 
 
 
 
 



Friday April 27 2018
Singapore Q1 Jobless Rate Lowest in 2 Years
Ministry of Manpower l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Singapore’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate edged down to 2 percent in the first three months of 2018 from 2.1 percent in the previous period, preliminary estimates showed. It was the lowest jobless rate since the March quarter 2016.

In the first quarter, the jobless rate fell for residents (2.8 percent from 3 percent in the December quarter) and was unchanged for citizens (3.0 percent).

Total employment declined by 2,100, after a seasonal increase in the preceding quarter. The decline occurred in construction ( -5,900 from -5,700 in the prior quarter) and manufacturing (-4,300 from -1,300), largely due to fewer Work Permit Holders. In contrast, employment in services increased by 7.900 (from 18,200).

Some 2,100 workers were laid off, compared to 3,680 in the previous quarter and 4,000 a year ago. The decline over the first quarter 2018 occurred in manufacturing, services and construction. Services continued to form the bulk of retrenchments (60 percent) , followed by manufacturing (23 percent) and construction (16 percent).

For full 2017, unemployment rate in Singapore came in at 2.2 percent, the most since 2010.


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.