Singapore has become the first Asian economy to fall into recession, analysts said yesterday, after the government revised downward its full-year growth estimate and eased monetary policy for the first time in years.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry lowered the city-state’s full-year growth forecast to around 3 percent, citing a slowdown in the global economy and key domestic sectors.
The move came as the ministry released preliminary data showing that real GDP declined by 6.3 percent in the third quarter after contracting 5.7 percent in the previous quarter, the ministry said.
While it did not describe the economy as being in recession, a technical recession is generally defined as two consecutive quarters of contraction in economic output.
“Singapore will be the first Asia economy to fall into a technical recession,” DBS Group Research said in an assessment of the data.
In a move to confront the downturn, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) — its de facto central bank — said it was easing monetary policy for the first time in more than four years.
“The Singapore economy has weakened over the course of 2008, alongside an escalation in the turmoil in financial markets and a more severe deceleration in global economic activity,” MAS said.
These developments meant new uncertainties for the Singapore economy, while slower Asian growth would restrain activity in a range of service industries such as transportation and tourism, it said.
“The risks to external demand conditions continue to be on the downside and a more severe global downturn cannot be discounted,” the bank said.
Singapore is Southeast Asia’s wealthiest economy in terms of GDP per capita, but is heavily dependent on trade. This makes it sensitive to hiccups in developed economies, particularly key export markets the US and Europe.
Economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast a 0.3 percent quarter-on-quarter rise in GDP, the value of goods and services produced in the economy.
Compared with the third quarter of last year, the ministry said Singapore’s economy contracted by 0.5 percent in real terms, against the 0.8 percent expansion foreseen in the Dow Jones poll.
Tropical Storm Koinu is expected to come closest to Taiwan from Wednesday through Friday as it passes through the Bashi Channel, but it remained uncertain how it would affect the weather, the Central Weather Administration (CWA) said. As of 8am yesterday, Koinu was about 1,000km east-southeast of Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻), Taiwan’s southernmost point, and was moving northwest at 12kph, the CWA said. Koinu is likely to strengthen into a typhoon today or tomorrow and turn west as it enters the Bashi Channel to the south of Taiwan proper, CWA forecaster Chao Hung (趙竑) said. The storm’s trajectory is still unclear, so more time is
Taichung prosecutors yesterday indicted three people on charges of fraud for allegedly passing off watches assembled in Taiwan as Swiss-made timepieces and earning NT$400 million (US$12.4 million) in illicit gains. The Taichung branch office of the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau said in a statement that the group, headed by Mei Hua Precision Industry Co (梅華精密) and Laora Trading Co (仁徠貿易) manager Yang Hung-pin (楊鴻斌), had purchased the rights to use the Swiss trademark Ogival years ago and from November 2006 to December 2020 sold 26,282 counterfeit watches in department stores and online platforms in Taiwan. The branch office said they received
PALAU LAUNCHES: The source said that Taiwanese military personnel traveled to Palau, where a US brigade watched their work amid plans for a defense network The military last month participated in live-fire launches of MM-104F Patriot (PAC-3) missiles under US observation in an undisclosed location in Palau, a step forward in a US-led plan to create a joint defense missile system in the first island chain, a source said on condition of anonymity. The PAC-3 is the mainstay surface-to-air missile of the US, NATO and democratic nations in East Asia, the source said, adding that it has never been live-tested within Taiwan’s borders, the source said. The proximity of Taiwan to China and China’s close surveillance of the nation’s borders and nearby sea zones is a significant
TRAJECTORY: Koinu’s outer rim is expected to reach Orchid Island early tomorrow and Taitung at about noon, where waves of at least 6m are forecast A sea warning for Typhoon Koinu was issued at 11:30pm last night, the Central Weather Administration (CWA) said, adding that a land warning could be issued today. High waves of about 2m were observed in Taitung yesterday, while waves of 6m or higher were forecast for today, said Huang Chia-mei (黃嘉美), head of the CWA’s Taitung Weather Station. At noon yesterday, Koinu was about 660km southeast of Taitung, she said, adding that it was moving more to the north and its center could possibly make landfall. The storm’s outer rim would likely reach Orchid Island (Lanyu, 蘭嶼) in the early hours tomorrow and