Singapore expects its economy to soar 15 percent this year after a record expansion in the second quarter that suggests Asia’s recovery from the global recession remains on track. \nGDP for April through last month grew 19.3 percent from a year earlier when the economy was shrinking because of the global recession, the Trade and Industry Ministry said yesterday. \nThe growth was the fastest since the government began releasing quarterly GDP figures in 1975. \nThe ministry raised its forecast for the city-state’s economic growth this year to a range of 13 percent to 15 percent from the previous forecast of 7 percent to 9 percent. It also raised its forecast for export growth as global demand has stayed strong amid Europe’s debt and fiscal crisis. \n“This should reinforce the view that fears from the eurozone crisis may be exaggerated,” DBS bank said in a report. \nSingapore, which has the highest percentage of millionaires in the world, is the first Asian economy to announce GDP results for the last quarter. The tiny island nation is often seen as a barometer of world demand because its economy — built on manufacturing and services like finance — is one of the most export-reliant in Asia. \nManufacturing in the last quarter recorded explosive growth of 45.5 percent compared with a year earlier. \n“Growth was driven by a surge in the output of biomedical manufacturing, as well as a strong expansion in electronics underpinned by healthy worldwide demand,” the ministry said in a statement. \nConstruction grew 13.5 percent while services expanded 11.4 percent. The opening of two casino resorts this year by Las Vegas Sands and Malaysia’s Genting have helped attract record visitors. \nTourists and locals alike are buying more. Mastercard said its cardholders spent 23 percent more last month from a year earlier amid the start of an annual nationwide retail sale. \nThe ministry revised first-quarter GDP growth to 16.9 percent from 15.5 percent. The second quarter results were preliminary, based on data from April and May. On an annualized and seasonally adjusted basis, the economy grew 26 percent in the second quarter. \nThe economy will likely slow in the second half of the year as the US and Europe battle high unemployment and fiscal austerity measures. \n“The momentum of the global economic recovery has moderated, although a double dip recession remains unlikely,” the ministry said. \nCitigroup said it expects Singapore’s economy to grow 15.5 percent this year and 4.6 percent next year.
‘HERO OF THE ERA’: President Tsai Ing-wen expressed deep sadness at Lee’s passing, and told the government to assist his family with all their needs Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) passed away at 7:24pm yesterday at Taipei Veterans General Hospital. He was 97 years old. The hospital stated the cause of death as septic shock and multiple organ failure. Lee had been hospitalized there since February, when he choked on a mouthful of milk at home. He was later diagnosed with pulmonary infiltrates and aspiration pneumonia. The hospital said that Lee had been treated with antibiotics, but that his health had not improved, as his advanced age and diabetes had inhibited his immune system and led to recurring infections. During his hospitalization, Lee underwent daily kidney dialysis, which removed
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
RECEIVING TREATMENT: President Tsai Ing-wen, Vice President William Lai and Premier Su Tseng-chang visited former president Lee Teng-hui yesterday morning Taipei Veterans General Hospital yesterday rebutted speculation that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had died a day earlier, saying that he was weak, but receiving treatment. The hospital said the 97-year-old Lee was not in good condition and needed ongoing care, adding that if there are any changes in his condition, it would make those public. The comments came after rumors emerged online on Tuesday that Lee had died after being hospitalized since early February. Soon after the unsubstantiated rumors emerged, reporters started flocking to the hospital seeking confirmation. Lee was admitted to Taipei Veterans General Hospital on Feb. 8 after choking while drinking
THAI CASE UPDATE: Twenty-nine close contacts of the worker have been tested with two types of tests, including 18 dorm mates, with 28 negative results so far Five imported cases of COVID-19, four from the Philippines and one from Hong Kong, were reported yesterday, bringing the total confirmed cases in Taiwan to 467, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The four returning from the Philippines were on the same flight, and the local health department has identified 15 people who had direct contact with them — including 10 passengers in the two rows in front or behind them, who have been put under 14-day home isolation, and five crew members, who will practice 14-day self-health management, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang