Friday November 23 2018
Singapore Inflation Rate Unchanged in October
Statistics Singapore | Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Singapore's annual inflation rate came in at 0.7 percent in October 2018, unchanged from the previous month and slightly below market consensus of 0.8 percent. Food prices rose at a slower pace while cost of housing and transport continued to fall.

Food inflation eased to 1.4 percent in October from 1.6 percent a month earlier. Among food excluding food servicing services, cost increased less for bread & cereals (1.8 percent vs 2.9 percent in September) and fruits (2.8 percent vs 3.3 percent); and declined for both vegetables (-1.6 percent vs -1.1 percent) and meat (-0.4 percent vs -0.3 percent). By contrast, prices increased further for oils & fats (2.7 percent vs 0.7 percent), and milk, cheese & eggs (1.8 percent vs 1.5 percent). Among food servicing services, inflation eased for restaurant food (1.8 percent vs 2.0 percent) and hawker food including food courts (1.5 percent vs 1.6 percent).

Also, inflation slowed for clothing & footwear (1.2 percent vs 1.8 percent); healthcare (1.8 percent vs 2 percent); and recreation & culture (1.0 percent vs 1.2 percent); and was steady for miscellaneous goods & services (at 1.1 percent). In addition, prices continued to fall for housing & utilities (-0.2 percent vs -0.5 percent), transport (-0.5 percent vs -0.1 percent) and communication (-1.2 percent vs -1.6 percent). Meanwhile, prices went up faster for education (3.2 percent vs 2.9 percent) and household durables & services (0.9 percent vs 0.8 percent).

Annual core inflation, which exclude costs of accommodation and private road transport, edged up to 1.9 percent in October 2018 from 1.8 percent in September and matching expectations.

On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices fell 0.3 percent in October, after a flat reading in September.




Thursday November 22 2018
Singapore GDP Expands Below Expectations
Mario | mario@tradingeconomics.com

The economy of Singapore grew an annual 2.2 percent in the third quarter of 2018, below market expectations of a 2.4 percent expansion; the 2.6 preliminary estimate, and the 4.2 percent print for the previous quarter, final data showed.

It was the slowest growth rate in eight quarters. Moderate growth was mainly explained by manufacturing, which expanded 3.5 percent (vs original 4.5 percent) after a 10.7 percent expansion in the previous quarter, with growth observed in all clusters. Meantime, services grew at a 2.4 percent pace (vs original 2.9 percent and vs 2.8 percent in Q2). In contrast, construction extended its contraction, shrinking 2.3 percent (vs original -3.1 percent) after falling 4.2 percent in Q2.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) announced today that the Singapore economy is expected to grow by “3.0 to 3.5 per cent” in 2018, narrowing from "2.5 to 3.5 per cent", and by “1.5 to 3.5 per cent” in 2019, as the pace of economic expansion across most of the major advanced and regional economies is expected to ease from 2018’s levels, in part due to the impact of the ongoing trade conflicts between the US and its key trading partners.

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualized basis, the economy expanded a seasonally-adjusted annualized 3.0 percent quarter-on-quarter in the third quarter of 2018, well above the 1.0 percent final growth for the previous quarter but missing expectations of a 4.2 percent increase and well below the preliminary 4.7 percent print. It was the fastest expansion in four quarters.




Friday October 26 2018
Singapore Q3 Jobless Rate Highest in 3 Quarters
Ministry of Manpower l Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Singapore’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate edged up to 2.1 percent in the September quarter of 2018 from a downwardly revised 2.0 percent in the previous period, a preliminary estimate showed. It was the highest jobless rate since the fourth quarter 2017.

In the third quarter, the jobless rate held steady for both residents (at 2.9 percent) and citizens (3.0 percent).

Total employment increased by 15,200 as employers quickened the pace of hiring, more than double than that in the June quarter (6,500), and  a reversal from a decline in the September quarter 2017 (-4,100). The higher employment growth in the third quarter 2018 was broad based. Increases were observed in manufacturing (3,500) after fifteen consecutive quarters of fall. Also, there were gains in services (12,300 excluding foreign domestic workers/ FDW), such as in professional services, information & communications, community, social & personal services and financial & insurance. In contrast, employment in construction declined by 400, reflecting weakness in public sector construction activities. Still, the pace of decline was slower than those of previous quarters.

Some 2,500 workers were laid off, lower than that in the second quarter (3,030) and the same period a year ago (3,400). Retrenchments in construction and services were lower over the quarter but remained similar in manufacturing. Services (60 percent) and manufacturing (32 percent) contributed to most of the retrenchments, while construction (8 percent) made up the rest. Cumulatively for the first three quarters of 2018, retrenchment was lower than the same periods in the preceding two years.




Tuesday October 23 2018
Singapore September Inflation Rate Below Estimates
Statistics Singapore l Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Singapore's annual inflation rate came in at 0.7 percent in September of 2018, unchanged from the previous month but below market consensus of 0.8 percent. Prices rose less mainly for food, clothing & footwear and recreation & culture. Meanwhile, inflation picked up for education and cost dropped at a slower pace for housing and transport.

In September, food inflation eased to 1.6 percent from 1.7 percent in a month earlier. Among food excluding food servicing services, cost increased less for: oils & fats (0.7 percent vs 3.9 percent in August); fruit (3.3 percent vs 3.4 percent); sugar, preserves & confectionery (1.7 percent vs 3.3 percent) and non-alcoholic beverages(2.2 percent vs 2.3 percent) and declined for both vegetables (-1.1 percent vs 0.4 percent) and meat (-0.3 percent vs -0.8 percent). Conversely, prices advanced further for bread & cereals (2.9 percent vs 2.3 percent); milk, cheese & eggs (1.5 percent vs 1.4 percent); and other food (2.1 percent vs 1.7 percent). Among food servicing services, inflation rose for restaurant food (2.0 percent vs 1.9 percent), hawker food including food courts (1.6 percent vs 0.4 percent); while eased for fast food (0.2 percent vs 0.4 percent); and was unchanged for catered food (at 1.7 percent).

Also, inflation slowed for clothing & footwear (1.8 percent vs 2.8 percent) and recreation & culture (1.2 percent vs 1.6 percent), due to holiday expenses (2.7 percent, the same as in the prior month). Meantime, inflation was steady for miscellaneous goods & services (at 1.1 percent) and healthcare (at 2 percent).

Meanwhile, prices went up faster for education (2.9 percent vs 2.4 percent) and household durables & services (0.8 percent vs 0.7 percent), mainly due to household services & supplies (1.3 percent, the same as in August). 

In addition, prices fell at a slower pace for housing & utilities (-0.5 percent vs -0.6 percent) and transport (-0.1 percent vs -0.2 percent) but more for communication (-1.6 percent vs -1.5 percent).

The annual core inflation, which exclude costs of accommodation and private road transport, eased to 1.8 percent in September 2018 from 1.9 percent in August and slightly below expectations of 1.9 percent.

On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices were flat, after a 0.4 percent rise in August.
 
 
 


Friday October 12 2018
Singapore Economy Expands 2.6% YoY in Q3
Mario | mario@tradingeconomics.com

The economy of Singapore grew an annual 2.6 percent in the third quarter of 2018, slightly above market expectations of a 2.5 percent expansion but well below the 4.1 percent final growth rate for the previous quarter, advanced data showed.

Moderate growth was mainly explained by manufacturing, which expanded 4.5 percent after a 10.6 percent expansion in the previous quarter, with growth mainly nudged by output expansions in the electronics, biomedical manufacturing and transport engineering clusters. Meantime, services grew at a 2.9 percent pace for the second straight quarter, mainly supported by growth in finance & insurance, business services and wholesale & retail trade sectors. In contrast, construction extended its contraction, shrinking 3.1 percent after falling 4.2 percent in Q2, as weakness in public construction activities persisted.

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualized basis, GDP expanded 4.7 percent quarter-on-quarter in the third quarter of 2018, well above the 1.2 percent final growth for the previous quarter but missing expectations of a 4.9 percent increase. It was the fastest expansion in four quarters, mainly nudged by further growth in manufacturing (7.6 percent vs 2.9 percent in Q2) and services (6.3 percent vs 0.7 percent), and a rebound in construction (1.7 percent vs -14.5 percent). 


Monday September 24 2018
Singapore Inflation Rate Rises to 15-Month High in August
Statistics Singapore l Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Singapore's annual inflation rate edged up to 0.7 percent in August of 2018 from 0.6 percent in the previous month and matching market consensus. It was the highest rate since May 2017, driven by a faster rise in prices of food while cost of housing and transport fell less.

In August, food inflation rose to a 19-month high of 1.7 percent from 1.5 percent in a month earlier. Among food excluding food servicing services, cost increased for: bread & cereals (2.3 percent vs 1.5 percent in July); fish and seafood (2.5 percent vs 2.8 percent); milk, cheese & eggs (1.4 percent vs 1.3 percent); oils & fats (3.9 percent vs 3.1 percent); fruit (3.4 percent vs 2.6 percent); vegetables (0.4 percent vs -0.2 percent); sugar, preserves & confectionary (3.3 percent vs 1.6 percent); non-alcoholic beverages  (2.3 percent vs 1.5 percent); and other food (1.7 percent vs 1.2 percent), while declined only or meat (-0.8 percent vs 0.6 percent). Among food servicing services, inflation rose for restaurant food (1.9 percent vs 1.7 percent), while eased for hawker food including food courts (0.4 percent vs 1.5 percent); and fast food (0.4 percent vs 0.6 percent);  and unchanged for catered food (at 1.7 percent).

Also, prices rose further for miscellaneous goods & services (1.1 percent vs 0.9 percent) and household durables & services (0.7 percent vs 0.5 percent), mainly due to household services & supplies (1.3 percent vs 1.1 percent). Additionally, cost fell at a softer pace for housing & utilities (-0.6 percent vs -1 percent) and transport (-0.2 percent vs -0.3 percent).

On the other hand, prices slowed for recreation & culture (1.6 percent vs 1.7 percent in July), due to holiday expenses (2.7 percent vs 2.8 percent) and dropped for communication (-1.5 percent vs 0.2 percent); and clothing & footwear (-0.6 percent vs 2.3 percent). In addition, inflation was steady for education (at 2.4 percent, the same as in July); and healthcare (at 2 percent).

Core consumer prices, which exclude costs of accommodation and private road transport, increased by 1.9 percent, the same as in July but slightly below expectations of 2 percent.

On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices rose by 0.4 percent, compared to a 0.1 percent fall in August and marking the highest monthly level in three months.


Thursday September 13 2018
Singapore Q2 Jobless Rate Confirmed at 2.1%
Ministry of Manpower l Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Singapore’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate inched higher to 2.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018 from a two-year low of 2 percent in the previous quarter and in line with the preliminary estimate. Layoff increased markedly while more people entered the labor force on the back of continued expansion in domestic economy.

In the three months to June, the jobless rate edged up for both residents (2.9 percent from 2.8 percent in Q1) and citizens (3.1 percent from 3 percent).

Total employment increased by 6,500, larger than the increase in the preceding quarter (3,700 or 400 excluding foreign domestic workers (FDW)). The growth continued to come from services (7,200), as increases outweighed the slowing declines in manufacturing (-100) and construction (-700). The services industries that contributed most to employment growth were transportation & storage, information & communications, community, social & personal services, and financial & insurance services.

Some 3,030 workers were laid off, higher than the prior quarter of 2,320, largely due to reorganisation and restructuring, but remained lower than the same period a year ago (3,640).

The rate of re-entry among retrenched residents improved to 64 percent after declining in the past two quarters, with broad-based increases across most age and education groups.

The number of job vacancies continued its uptrend since June 2017 to a 3-year high of 56,700 in the June quarter. As the increase in unemployed persons was relatively smaller, the seasonally adjusted ratio of job vacancies to unemployed persons rose markedly to 108 job vacancies per 100 job seekers in June 2018, from 104 in March 2018. 


Thursday August 23 2018
Singapore Inflation Rate Steady at 0.6% in July
Statistics Singapore l Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Singapore's annual inflation rate came in at 0.6 percent in July 2018, unchanged from the previous month’s 7-month high, slightly below market consensus of 0.65 percent. Food inflation was steady while housing deflation eased and transports prices fell.

Food inflation was steady at 1.5 percent in July. Among food excluding food servicing services, cost went up mainly for: bread & cereals (1.5 percent vs 2.1 percent); meat (0.6 percent vs 0.5 percent); fish and seafood (2.8 percent vs 3.5 percent); milk, cheese & eggs (1.3 percent vs 1.8 percent); oils & fats (3.1 percent vs 4.1 percent); sugar, preserves & confectionary (1.6 percent vs 2.7 percent); non-alcoholic beverages  (1.5 percent vs 1.4 percent), other food (1.2 percent vs 3.4 percent), and fruit (2.6 percent vs 1.2 percent). By contrast, vegetables prices continued to drop (-0.2 percent vs -1.5 percent). Among food servicing services, inflation was unchanged for restaurant food (at 1.7 percent) while inflation eased for hawker food including food courts (1.5 percent vs 1.6 percent). Meantime, inflation rose for both fast food (0.6 percent vs 0.1 percent) and catered food (1.7 percent vs 0.2 percent).
 
Additional upward pressure came from: recreation & culture (1.7 percent vs 1.4 percent) due to holiday expenses (2.8 percent vs 2.4 percent) and recreation & entertainment (0.8 percent vs 0.6 percent); education (2.4 percent, from 2.9 percent); healthcare (2.0 percent vs 2.4 percent); miscellaneous goods & services (0.9 percent vs 1.2 percent); household durables & services (0.5 percent vs 0.9 percent); communication (0.2 percent vs 0.2 percent); and clothing & footwear (2.3 percent vs 1.5 percent).
 
On the other hand, transport prices fell (-0.3 percent vs 0.3 percent) dragged in particular by private road transport cost (-0.2 percent vs 0.4 percent) and public road transport (-1.1 percent vs -1.0 percent). Also, housing & utilities prices dropped at a softer pace (-1.0 percent vs -1.8 percent).
 
Core consumer prices, which exclude costs of accommodation and private road transport, increased by 1.9 percent in July, beating market expectations of 1.7 percent and following a 1.7 percent gain in June.
 
On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices edged down 0.1 percent in July, reversing from a 0.1 percent rise a month earlier. 
 


Monday August 13 2018
Singapore Q2 GDP Growth Revised Slightly Higher to 3.9%
Statistics Singapore l Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The economy of Singapore grew an annual 3.9 percent in the June quarter of 2018, slightly above the advance estimate of a 3.8 percent growth but less than market consensus of a 4.1 percent rise. It followed an upwardly revised 4.5 percent expansion in the March quarter, with manufacturing sector expanding more than initially thought.

Within the goods producing industries, manufacturing output increased by 10.2 percent in the second quarter, higher than the preliminary figure of a 8.6 percent rise and following a 10.8 percent gain in the first quarter. Growth was mainly supported by increases in electronics, biomedical manufacturing and transport engineering clusters. Meanwhile, construction output contracted 4.6 percent, compared to the initial estimates of a 4.4 percent decline and a 5.2 percent fall in the previous three months. The decline was mainly driven by falls in  public sector construction works.

The services producing industries increased by 2.8 percent, less than the preliminary data of a 3.4 percent rise and after a 4 percent growth in the March quarter. Within the sector, wholesale & retail trade rose at a softer 1.5 percent (from 2.5 percent in Q1), supported by rises in both the wholesale trade and retail trade segments. Transportation & storage went up 1.3 percent, slower than a 2.7 percent rise in Q1, largely driven by the air transport segment, which expanded on the back of an increase in air passengers handled at Changi Airport. Information & communications expanded 5.2 percent (from 5.4 percent), primarily driven by the IT & information services segment. Finance & insurance grew by 6.7 percent (from 9.2 percent), supported by expansions across all segments. Business services rose 2.1 percent (from 2.6 percent) supported by the professional services and others segments. Other services industries expanded 0.7 percet (from 2.3 percent), supported by the education, health & social services segment. Meantime, accommodation & food industries grew at a faster 4 percent (from 2 percent), mainly boosted by an increase in the accommodation segment.

For 2018, the Ministry of Trade and Industry maintained  the GDP growth forecast between 2.5 to 3.5 percent but it highlighted weaker-than expected expansion in some major economies such as the EU and Japan as well as the potential risk from intensifying global trade tensions.

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualized basis, the GDP expanded by 0.6 percent in the second quarter, lower than the preliminary figure of a 1 percent growth and missing expectations of a 1.3 percent increase. It followed an upwardly revised quarterly figure of 2.2 percent expansion in the March quarter and marked the weakest pace of expansion since a contraction in the first quarter 2017.


Friday July 27 2018
Singapore Q2 Jobless Rate Edges Higher to 2.1%
Ministry of Manpower l Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Singapore’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate inched up to 2.1 percent in the June quarter of 2018 from 2.0 percent in the previous period, amid continued expansion in economic activities and on-going improvements in the labor market, preliminary estimates showed.

In the second quarter, the jobless rate rose for both residents (3.0 percent from 2.8 percent in the March quarter) and citizens (3.1 percent from 3.0 percent).

Total employment increased by 7,100, far higher than an increase of 400 in the preceding quarter and a reversal from the contraction observed in the same period a year ago (-7,900). Services continued to add workers (7,800 excluding foreign domestic workers/FDWs), particularly in sectors such as transportation & storage, information & communications, community, social & personal services, professional services and financial & insurance. On the other hand, employment in construction contracted by 600, with private sector construction continuing to be weak. Meantime, employment in  manufacturing was largely unchanged (-100), following consecutive declines since fourth quarter 2014.

Some 2,500 workers were laid off, higher than that in the prior quarter (2,320) and 3,640 a year ago. The slight rise over the second quarter 2018 reflected on-going restructuring and reorganisation, and occurred after retrenchments trended down from the fourth quarter of 2016.