Economic contraction slows down in Singapore

The phased reopening of the economy following Singapore’s circuit breaker is helping the recovery efforts of some sectors.
By: | October 14, 2020

Singapore’s economy contracted by 7% in the third quarter from the same period last year, an improvement from the 13.3% contraction recorded in the second quarter.

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted basis, the Singapore economy expanded by 7.9% in the third quarter, rebounding from the 13.2% contraction in the preceding quarter.

While the manufacturing sector registered encouraging growth on 2% on a year-on-year basis in the third quarter, sectors such as air transport, accommodation and services producing industries continue to struggle.

Singapore is currently in Phase 2 of the reopening from the circuit breaker, which the government introduced in April. Under Phase 2, retail shops have been allowed to reopen and restaurant dine-ins resumed under safe distancing measures.

More employees have also been allowed to return to their workplaces, although it is unsure when Singapore will move into Phase 3 of the country’s recovery.

Earlier this month, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said, “Even as we move towards Phase 3, the new normal will be different from what we were used to in the pre-COVID days.”

READ: Singapore’s jobless rate surpasses global financial crisis’ high

Job uncertainty also continues to be high in Singapore, as the unemployment rate hit an 11-year high of 3.4% in August this year, surpassing the 3.3% recorded during the global financial crisis in 2009.

Singapore’s economy is expected to shrink between 5%-7% in 2020, according to the Ministry of Trade and Industry.