06 Oct Singapore’s new normal
Singapore’s economy has been impacted, like everywhere, by the Covid19 pandemic – with corporate bankruptcies and unemployment likely to increase in the coming months, according to Singapore’s central bank. But silver lining is appearing in the horizon. Singapore’s economy grew by 0.2 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2021, a turnaround after three quarters of contraction, as the country continued its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
After the first case was reported in Singapore on Jan 23 last year, Singapore posted 0 per cent growth in GDP in the first quarter, followed by contractions in the following three quarters. Last year, the economy shrunk by 5.4 per cent, Singapore’s first annual contraction since 2001 and its worst recession since independence.
Yet this brings opportunity, too, perhaps making commercial acquisition and other prices more accessible.Singapore saw its overall manufacturing activity expanding in March 2021 at the fastest pace in more than two years, aided mainly by gains in new orders, new exports and employment. The central bank has asserted that Singapore maintains its robust and resilient financial system, and remains a global financial centre and home to many banks and financial institutions.
Singapore’s unemployment rate is gradually coming down, PM Lee said, and gross domestic product growth this year is likely to exceed 6 per cent, barring a setback to the global economy. “This will bring us back to where we were before Covid-19 struck,” he said.
However, analysts said uncertainty about the new variants of Covid-19 poses downside risks to the outlook.