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. 


Monday July 23 2018
Singapore Inflation Rate Rises to 7-Month High in June
Statistics Singapore | Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Singapore's consumer price inflation rose to 0.6 percent year-on-year in June 2018 from 0.4 percent in the previous month, matching market consensus. It was the highest rate since last November, mainly boosted by higher prices of food and transport while housing deflation eased.

Food inflation increased to a four-month high of 1.5 percent in June, from 1.3 percent in the prior month. Among food excluding food servicing services, cost went up mainly for: bread & cereals (2.1 percent vs 1 percent); meat (0.5 percent vs 0.1 percent); fish and seafood (3.5 percent vs 1.8 percent); milk, cheese & eggs (1.8 percent vs 1.3 percent); oils & fats (4.1 percent vs 3.4 percent); and fruits (1.2 percent vs 1.4 percent). By contrast, vegetables prices continued to drop (-1.5 percent vs -1.1 percent). Among food servicing services, inflation was unchanged for all categories: hawker food including food courts (at 1.6 percent); restaurant food (at 1.7 percent); fast food (at 0.1 percent); and catered food (at 0.3 percent).

Additional upward pressure came from: transport (0.3 percent vs unchanged in May) driven in particular by private road transport cost (0.4 percent vs 0.1 percent); recreation & culture (1.4 percent vs 1.2 percent) due to holiday expenses (2.4 percent vs 2.1 percent) and recreation & entertainment (0.6 percent vs 0.5 percent); education (2.9 percent, the same as in May); healthcare (2.4 percent vs 2.3 percent); miscellaneous goods & services (1.2 percent vs 1.1 percent); household durables & services (0.9 percent vs 0.8 percent); communication (0.2 percent vs -0.8 percent); and clothing & footwear (1.5 percent vs 0.6 percent).

On the other hand, housing & utilities prices fell at a softer pace (-1.8 percent vs -2 percent).

Core consumer prices, which exclude costs of accommodation and private road transport, increased by 1.7 percent in June, beating market expectations of 1.5 percent and following a 1.5 percent gain in May.

On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices edged up 0.1 percent in June, easing from a 0.6 percent rise a month earlier. 


Friday July 13 2018
Singapore GDP Growth Slows to 3.8% YoY in Q2
Mario | mario@tradingeconomics.com

The economy of Singapore advanced 3.8 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2018, according to advance data, losing steam from a downwardly revised 4.3 percent climb in Q1 and below consensus expectations of a 4 percent expansion. Manufacturing and services lost steam, whereas construction contracted at a slower pace.

Within the goods producing industries, manufacturing output grew at slower pace of 8.6 percent (vs 9.7 percent in the previous quarter), with all clusters expanding during the quarter and electronics and biomedical engineering contributing the most to the sector’s growth. On the other hand, construction output shrank by 4.4 percent after a 5.2 percent contraction in the previous quarter, explained primarily by weakness in private construction works.

The services producing industries also lost steam, expanding 3.4 percent in the second quarter after growing by 4.0 percent in the previous three months. Growth was mainly supported by finance & insurance and wholesale & retail trade.

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualized basis, the GDP rose by 1.0 percent, below the 1.5 percent expansion in the previous quarter.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry expects GDP growth for 2018 between 2.5 to 3.5 percent.


Monday June 25 2018
Singapore Inflation Rate at 3-Month High of 0.4% in May
Statistics Singapore l Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Singapore's consumer price inflation rose to 0.4 percent year-on-year in May of 2017 from 0.1 percent in the previous month and above market consensus of 0.3 percent. It is the highest rate since February, as cost of transport picked up and prices of food continued to increase while cost of housing fell less.

In May, cost rose at a faster pace for: household durables & services (0.8 percent from 0.7 percent), mainly due to a 1.7 percent growth in household services & supplies; healthcare (2.3 percent from 2 percent), largely due to a 0.6 percent gain in medical products, appliances & equipment and a 2.8 percent increase in medical & dental treatment; recreation & culture (1.2 percent from 0.7 percent), driven by a 0.5 percent rise in recreation & entertainment,  a 0.1 percent increase in newspapers an entertainment, and a 2.5 percent gain in holiday expenses; and miscellaneous goods & services (1.1 percent from 0.5 percent), mainly driven by a 5.7 percent rise in alcoholic beverages & tobacco and a 0.4 percent rise in other miscellaneous expenditure.

Meanwhile, cost of transport was flat, compared to a 0.7 percent fall in a month earlier, due to a 0.1 percent rise in private road transport and a 1.1 percent fall in public road transport. In addition, cost fell less for: housing & utilities (-2 percent from -2.3 percent, mainly due to a 3.2 percent drop in accomodation); and communication (-0.8 percent from -1.3 percent). On the other hand, inflation was steady for education (at 2.9 percent), due to a 3 percent rise in tuition & other fees and a 0.3 percent gain in school textbooks & related study guides.

Prices of food increased 1.3 percent, after a 1.4 percent rise in April. Among food excluding food servicing services, cost went up for: bread & cereals (1 percent); meat (0.1 percent); fish and seafood (1.8 percent); milk, cheese & eggs (1.3 percent); oils & fats (3.4 percent); sugar, preserves & confectionery (0.3 percent); other food (2.3 percent); non-alcoholic beverages (1.3 percent); while fell for vegetables (-1.1 percent). Among food servicing services, prices advanced for all categories: restaurant foods (0.7 percent); fast food (0.1 percent); hawker food including food courts (1.6 percent), and catered food (0.3 percent).

Core consumer prices which exclude costs of accommodation and private road transport, increased by 1.5 percent, following a 1.3 percent gain in April and slightly above expectations of 1.4 percent. 

On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices went up by 0.6 percent, compared to a 0.5 percent fall in a month earlier. It is the highest monthly figure since November last year.


Wednesday June 13 2018
Singapore Q1 Jobless Rate Confirmed at 2-Year Low of 2%
Ministry of Manpower l Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Singapore’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate inched down to 2 percent in the March quarter of 2018 from 2.1 percent in the previous quarter and in line with the preliminary estimate. It is the lowest jobless rate since the first quarter 2016, as layoff declined the most in five years while jobs openings outnumbered job seekers for the first time in two years.

In the three months to March, the jobless rate fell for residents (2.8 percent from 3 percent), while was unchanged for citizens (at 3 percent). 

Total employment increased by 3,700, following the seasonal high in the previous quarter (10,700), and was a reversal from the decline in the same period a year ago (-9,400).  Excluding foreign domestic workers (FDW), employment grew by 400. Total employment growth was supported by an increase in services (9,700 excluding FDW), led by community, social & personal services (3,900), financial & insurance services (2,800), transportation & storage (2,300) and information & communications (1,800). On the other hand, due to fewer Work Permit Holders, manufacturing and construction saw employment contracted by 3,800 and 5,600 respectively, though the decline was smaller than a year ago (-4,400 and -12,500 respectively).

Some 2,320 workers were laid off, a decrease from 3,680 workers in the December quarter to a five-year low. The decline over the quarter was broad-based across industries. Services formed the bulk of the retrenchments (63 percent), mainly in wholesale trade, financial services, and professional services. Business restructuring and reorganisation continued to be the top reason cited for retrenchments.

The rate of re-entry among retrenched residents fell for the second straight quarter to 61 percent. The decline was more notable among professionals, managers, executives and technicians/PMETs, residents with post-secondary (non-tertiary) and diploma & professional qualifications, as well as residents aged 30 to 39. On the other hand, residents aged below 30 and 50 & over, as well as those with secondary and below qualifications posted increases in re-entry rate over the quarter. 

The number of job vacancies among private sector establishments with at least 25 employees and the public sector rose to 53,900 from 49,700 in the fourth quarter, similar to the level observed in December 2015 (54,000). Coupled with fewer unemployed persons over the quarter, the seasonally adjusted ratio of job vacancies to unemployed persons improved to 104 per 100 jobseekers from 92 in the December quarter. It is the first time since the first quarter 2016 that there were more job openings than unemployed persons. 


Thursday May 24 2018
Singapore GDP Growth Revised Higher to 4.4% in Q1
Mario | mario@tradingeconomics.com

The economy of Singapore expanded 4.4 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2018, according to final data, gaining steam from a 3.6 percent climb in the previous period and surpassing expectations and the advanced estimate of 4.3 percent. It was the fastest growth rate in sixteen quarters.

Within the goods producing industries, manufacturing output grew at a much faster pace of 9.8 percent (vs 10.1 percent in advanced data), following a 4.8 percent jump in the fourth quarter of 2017, with all the clusters expanding in Q1, led by electronics and precision engineering and contributing the most to the sector’s growth. On the other hand, construction output shrank by 5.0 percent after a 5.0 percent contraction in the previous quarters (and vs a 4.4 percent fall in advanced estimate), explained by weakness in both private and public construction works.

The services producing industries also gained steam, expanding 4.1 percent in the first quarter after growing by 3.5 percent in the previous three months and above 3.8 percent in the preliminary figures. Growth was mainly supported by finance & insurance (9.1 percent vs 6.3 percent in Q4) and information & communications (5.7 percent vs 6 percent in Q4).

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualized basis, the GDP rose by 1.7 percent, below the 2.1 percent expansion and compared to 1.4 percent in advanced data.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry expects GDP growth for 2018 between 2.5 to 3.5 percent.