Singapore economy contracts 41% on quarterly basis

Singapore, July 14 (BNA): Singapore’s economy entered recession in the April-June quarter, contracting 12.6% from the same period a year earlier, said AP.

Preliminary data reported Tuesday showed the economy contracting 41.2% in quarterly terms in April-June as the city-state, heavily reliant on trade and tourism, imposed “circuit breaker” precautions to curb the coronavirus pandemic. An update of the data is due for release in August.

An early outbreak of the COVID-19 virus was followed later by a surge in cases among Singapore’s sizable migrant worker population. That prompted authorities to suspend nonessential services and close many offices to stem the spread of infections.

The economy contracted 0.3% from a year earlier in the first quarter of the year and 3.3% in quarterly terms. That means with two straight quarters of contraction it is in a technical recession.

The biggest contraction during the last quarter was in construction, which plunged 55% from a year earlier, and 96% on a quarterly basis, as workers were quarantined to stem outbreaks of the virus. Manufacturing dropped 23% in quarterly terms but rose 2.5% from a year earlier.

Retail sales and food and beverage sales fell more than 50% in May, according to earlier reported figures. Grocery store sales rose as people dined at home.

The data is “Still ugly by any measure, but not unsurprising given Singapore is a tourism and transport hub and has a very open trade-based economy,” Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said in a commentary.

“That Singapore is in a deep recession; there is no doubt,” he said. “But Singapore’s numbers will rebound equally quickly if the reopening stays on track.”