Thursday March 23 2017
Singapore Inflation Rate at 30-Month High of 0.7%
Statistics Singapore l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Singapore rose 0.7 percent year-on-year in February of 2017, compared to a 0.6 percent increase in January and in line with markets expectations. It was the highest inflation rate since August 2014, driven by a faster increase in cost of transport while prices of food rose further and cost of housing & utilities fell slightly less than in the prior month.

Year-on-year, upward prices pressure came from: household durables & services (1.5 percent from 2.1 percent in the prior month, largely due to a  2.9 percent increase in household services & supplies), health care (2.6 percent from 2.5 percent, mainly driven by a 3.5 percent rise in medical & dental treatment), transport (4.2 percent from 2.8 percent, mainly due to a 7.1 percent rise in private road transport), communication (0.7 percent from 0.4 percent) and recreation & culture (0.5 percent from 0.5 percent, largely due to a 6.1 percent increase in newspapers, book & stationery and a 0.3 percent growth in holiday expenses) and education (3.6 percent from 3.5 percent, due to a 3.7 percent rise in tuition & other fees and a 0.1 percent increase in school textbooks & related study guides). In contrast, cost declined for: clothing & footwear (-0.2 percent from-1.5 percent), housing & utilities (-3.1 percent from -3.2 percent, largely due to a 4.0 percent drop in accommodation) and miscellaneous goods & services (compared to a flat reading in a month earlier, due to a 2.0 percent drop in personal care).

Prices of food rose 1.3 percent in February, following a 1.9 percent gain in January. Among food, cost of food excluding food servicing services increased by 1.0 percent, compared to a 2.0 percent rise in a month earlier while food servicing services rose 1.5 percent, following a 1.8 percent gain in a month earlier. Among food excluding food servicing services, cost increased for bread & cereals (1.2 percent), meat (0.2 percent); fish & seafood (0.4 percent); milk, cheese & eggs (0.9 percent), fruits (2.6 percent), vegetables (2.7 percent); sugar, preserves & confectionery (1.7 percent) and other food (0.2 percent). In contrast, prices fell for oils & fats (-2.8 percent) and non-alcoholic beverages (-0.4 percent). Among food servicing services, prices increased for all categories: restaurant foods (0.9 percent), fast food (2.1 percent), hawker food including food courts (1.8 percent) and catered food (2.5 percent).

Core inflation, which excludes costs of accommodation and private road transport, went up 1.2 percent year-on-year, following a 1.5 percent gain in the prior month.

On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices remained unchanged, after gaining 0.2 percent in a month earlier.




Wednesday March 15 2017
Singapore Jobless Rate Confirmed At 6-Year High In Q4
Ministry of Manpower l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Singapore’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016 from 2.1 percent in the previous two quarters and in line with preliminary estimates. It was the highest jobless rate since the December quarter 2010, as more people entered the labour force while layoff went up the most since the June quarter 2009.

In the three months to December, the jobless rate for residents were up to 3.2 percent (from 2.9 percent in the third quarter) and the rate for citizens also increased to 3.5 percent (from 3.0 percent). 

Some 5,440 workers were laid off, up from 4,220 workers in the September quarter and was the highest since Q2 2009 (5,980).

The rate of re-entry among residents made redundant rose for the second straight quarter. About 52 percent of residents made redundant in the third quarter of 2016 secured employment by December 2016, up from 49 percent from the previous quarter.

Job vacancies decreased to 44,500 (from 53,800 in the September quarter) and was also lower compared to the same period a year earlier (50,600). 

Reflecting seasonal hiring for year-end festivities, total employment grew in the fourth quarter of 2016 (2,300), compared to a contraction in the prior quarter (-2,700), but growth was lower than the fourth quarter 2015 (16,100). 

For full 2016, the annual average unemployment rate increased to 2.1 percent from 1.9 percent in 2015. It was the highest annual jobless rate since 2010. Unemployment among resident went up to 3.0 percent (from 2.8 percent in 2015) while those among citizens went up to 3.1 percent (from 2.9 percent). The increase was broad based across most age and education groups.

Total employment in 2016 increased by 8,600, the lowest growth since 2003 (-11,700). Employment in services sectors such as community, social & personal services rose (20,200), followed by accommodation & food services (6,000), administrative & support services (4,200) and transportation & storage (4,100). In contrast, a decline was seen in manufacturing (-15,500) and construction (-11,500).

In 2016, redundancies rose to 19,170, mainly due to business restructuring and reorganisation, high costs and
downturn in industry. The bulk of redundancies were in professional services (14 percent), fabricated metal products (12 percent) and financial services (12 percent). Redundancies have trended up since 2010.

The annual average rate of re-entry among residents made redundant fell for the second consecutive year to 48 percent, the lowest since the comparable series started in 2010 (53 percent). The decline was observed across all age, education and occupational groups.




Thursday February 23 2017
Singapore Inflation Rate At 28-Month High Of 0.6%
Statistics Singapore l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Singapore consumer prices rose 0.6 percent year-on-year in January of 2017, compared to a 0.2 percent increase in December and in line with markets expectations. It was the highest inflation rate since September 2014, as cost of transport surged while prices of food rose further and cost of housing & utilities fell at a slower pace.

Year-on-year, upward prices pressure came from: household durables & services (2.1 percent from 2.1 percent in the prior month, largely due to a  3.9 percent increase in household services & supplies), health care (2.5 percent from 2.4 percent, mainly driven by a 3.6 percent rise in medical & dental treatment), transport (2.8 percent from 0.8 percent, mainly due to a 4.1 percent rise in private road transport and a 3.8 percent gain in other travel & transport), recreation & culture (0.5 percent from 0.9 percent, largely due to a 5.9 percent increase in newspapers, book & stationery and a 2.0 percent growth in holiday expenses) and education (3.5 percent from 3.2 percent, due to a 3.6 percent rise in tuition & other fees and a 0.1 percent increase in school textbooks & related study guides). Cost remained unchanged for miscellaneous goods & services (compared to a flat reading in December, namely other miscellaneous expenditure: 1.5 percent, personal effects: 0.9 percent and personal care: -0.7 percent). In contrast, cost fell for: clothing & footwear (-1.5 percent from-0.1 percent) and housing & utilities (-3.2 percent from -3.8 percent, largely due to a 3.9 percent drop in accommodation).

Prices of food rose 1.9 percent in January, following a 2.0 percent gain in the previous two months. Among food, cost of food excluding food servicing services increased by 2.0 percent, compared to a 2.4 percent rise in a month earlier while food servicing services rose 1.8 percent, the same pace as in December. Among food excluding food servicing services, cost increased for bread & cereals (0.4 percent), meat (0.6 percent); fish & seafood (6.2 percent); milk, cheese & eggs (0.6 percent), fruits (1.0 percent), vegetables (4.9 percent); sugar, preserves & confectionery (1.8 percent) and other food (0.7 percent). In contrast, prices fell for oils & fats (-2.6 percent) and non-alcoholic beverages (-0.1 percent). Among food servicing services, prices increased for all categories: restaurant foods (1.7 percent), fast food (2.3 percent), hawker food including food courts (1.8 percent) and catered food (1.3 percent).

Core inflation, which excludes costs of accommodation and private road transport, rose 1.5 percent year-on-year, following a 1.2 percent gain in the prior month and above consensus of a 1.3 percent rise. It was the highest level since December 2014.

On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices went up 0.2 percent, the same pace as in a month earlier.


Friday February 17 2017
Singapore GDP Growth Revised Up To 2.9% In Q4
Statistics Singapore l Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

The Singaporean economy expanded 2.9 percent year-on-year in the last three months of 2016, higher than 1.2 percent in the previous period and above initial estimates of a 1.8 percent growth. It is the highest expansion since the fourth quarter of 2014, mainly boosted by manufacturing, final figures showed.

Year-on-year, the manufacturing sector grew 11.5 percent, higher than 1.8 percent in the previous quarter and above initial estimates of 6.5 percent. Electronics and biomedical sectors drove the expansion, namely semiconductors, pharmaceuticals and medical technology. The services producing industries advanced 1 percent, compared to a 0.4 percent growth in the September quarter and initial estimates of 0.6 percent. Contributions came from wholesale and retail trade, transportation and storage, accomodation, finance and insurance and other services.
 
In contrast, the construction sector contracted by 2.8 percent, extending the 2.2 percent decline in the third quarter, and in line with earlier figures due to a sharper drop in private sector construction activities.
 
On a quarterly basis, the GDP advanced an annualized 12.3 percent, recovering from a 0.4 percent contraction in the previous quarter and above earlier estimates of 9.1 percent. It is the strongest growth rate since the first quarter of 2011, mainly due to a rebound in manufacturing (+39.8 percent from -5 percent in Q3).
 
For the whole of 2016, the economy advanced 2 percent, above 1.9 percent in 2015 and higher than 1.8 percent initially estimated. For 2017, the GDP is expected to expand between 1 to 3 percent.




Thursday January 26 2017
Singapore Jobless Rate Rises To 6 Year-High In Q4
Ministry of Manpower l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Singapore’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate rose to 2.2 percent in the three months to December of 2016 from 2.1 percent in the September quarter and in line with markets estimates, preliminary estimates showed. It was the highest jobless rate since the December quarter 2010.

In the December quarter, resident unemployment went up to 3.2 percent (from 2.9 percent in the third quarter) while citizen unemplyment increased to 3.5 percent (from 3.0 percent). 

Some 5,300 workers were made redundant, up from 4,220 in the preceding quarter but similar to a year ago (5,370). 

Reflecting seasonal hiring for year-end festivities, total employment grew by 1,900, compared to a contraction in the third quarter (-2,700), but growth was lower than a year ago (16,100).

For full year 2016, the annual average unemployment went up to 2.1 percent (from 1.9 percent in 2015) and marking the highest level since 2010. Resident unemployment rose to 3.0 percent (from 2.8 percent) while citizen unemployment increased to 3.1 percent (from 2.9 percent). The increase was broad based across most age and education groups.

Total employment was estimated to have increased by 16,400 or 0.4 percent, lower than the 32,300 or 0.9 percent in 2015. It was the lowest growth since 2003 (-12,900 or -0.6 percent). The moderation in total employment in the year took place amid slower growth in the Singapore economy, slowdown in local labour force growth and continued tightening of the supply of foreign workforce. Across broad sectors, employment in manufacturing declined by 15,700 for the year, followed by that in construction (-11,300). In contrast, services employment grew by 43,800, a pace that was broadly similar to 2015 (45,500).
In 2016, redundancies rose to 19,000, mainly due to restructuring and a slower economy. Redundancies have trended up since 2010, but remained lower than the recessionary high in 2009. 


Monday January 23 2017
Singapore Inflation Rate at 27-Month High of 0.2%
Statistics Singapore l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Singapore consumer prices rose 0.2 percent year-on-year in December of 2016, after remaining unchanged in November while markets expected a 0.1 percent rise. It was the highest inflation rate since September 2014, mainly due to a surge in cost of transport while food inflation was steady and cost of housing & utilities fell.

Year-on-year, upward prices pressure came from: household durables & services (2.1 percent from 2.6 percent in the prior month, due to a  4.1 percent increase in household services & supplies), health care (2.4 percent from 2.9 percent, due to a 3.5 percent rise in medical & dental treatment and a 0.8 percent gain in medical products, appliances & equipment), transport (0.8 percent from -0.3 percent, mainly due to a 1.7 percent rise in private road transport), recreation & culture (0.9 percent from 0.8 percent, largely due to a 5.9 percent increase in newspapers, book & stationery and a 2.0  percent growth in holiday expenses) and education (3.2 percent from 3.2 percent, due to a 3.2 percent rise in tuition & other fees and a 0.3 percent increase in school textbooks & related study guides).

Cost remained unchanged for miscellaneous goods & services (from 0.8 percent in November, due to a 2.8 percent rise in personal effect and a 0.5 percent gain in alcoholic & tobacco). In contrast, cost fell for: clothing & footwear (-0.1 percent from-0.2 percent in October), housing & utilities (-3.8 percent from -3.7 percent, largely due to a 3.6 percent drop in fuel & utilities and a 3.8 percent fall in accommodation).

Prices of food rose 2.0 percent in December, the same as in a month earlier. Among food, cost of food excluding food servicing services increased by 2.4 percent, the same as in the preceding month while food servicing services rose 1.8 percent, followng a 1.7 percent rise in a month earlier. Among food excluding food servicing services, cost increased for bread & cereals (1.1 percent), meat (2.4 percent); fish & seafood (5.4 percent); milk, cheese & eggs (0.7 percent), fruits (1.9 percent), vegetables (5.6 percent) and other food (2.3 percent). Prices were flat for non-alcoholic beverages. In contrast, prices declined  for oils & fats (-0.9 percent) and sugar, preserves & confectionery (-0.2 percent). Among food servicing services, prices increased for all categories: restaurant foods (1.7 percent), fast food (2.2 percent), hawker food including food courts (1.9 percent) and catered food (1.3 percent).

Core inflation, which excludes costs of accommodation and private road transport, rose 1.2 percent year-on-year, following a 1.3 percent gain in the prior month and slightly below consensus of a 1.3 percent rise.

On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices went up 0.2 percent, compared to a 0.3 percent increase in November. 


Tuesday January 03 2017
Singapore GDP Grows 1.8% YoY In Q4
Statistics Singapore l Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

The Singaporean economy advanced 1.8 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2016 after growing by an upwardly revised 1.2 percent in the previous period and above market consensus of a 0.6 percent expansion, the advance estimate showed. Considering the full year, the economy advanced 1.8 percent, exceeding the government's previous forecast of 1.0-1.5 percent expansion, but still the lowest growth since 2009.

Year-on-year, the manufacturing sector expanded by 6.5 percent, following a 1.7 percent growth in the previous three months, driven by the electronics and biomedical manufacturing clusters. The services producing industries advanced 0.6 percent, compared to a 0.3 percent growth in the September quarter, largely due to the other services industries, transportation and storage, and business service sectors.

By contrast, the construction sector contracted by 2.8 percent, extending the 0.2 percent decline in the third quarter, due to a sharper decline in private sector construction activities.

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualized basis, the economy grew firmly by 9.1 percent, following a downwardly revised 1.9 percent fall in the September quarter and better than market expectations of a 3.7 percent growth. It was the strongest growth rate since the second quarter of 2013, mainly due to a rebound in manufacturing (+14.6 percent from -8.1 percent in Q3) and services (+9.4 percent from -0.4 percent) while construction continued to fall (-4.7 percent from -14.8 percent).

For the whole of 2016, the economy advanced 1.8 percent from the previous year, exceeding the government's previous forecast of 1.0-1.5 percent expansion, but still the lowest growth since 2009. Manufacturing was the main driver of growth (+2.3 percent from -5.2 percent in 2015) while output rose at a slower pace for services (+0.9 percent from +3.4 percent) and construction (+1.3 percent from +2.5 percent).


Friday December 23 2016
Singapore Inflation Rate Flat in November
Statistics Singapore l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Singapore consumer prices remained unchanged on the year in November of 2016, following a 0.1 percent drop in October and in line with market consensus. The figure came off a deflationary trend for the first time in two years, as a faster increase in prices of food and a slower drop in cost of housing & utilities offset a further fall in cost of transport.

Year-on-year, downward prices pressure came from: clothing & footwear (-0.2 percent from-0.2 percent in October), housing & utilities (-3.7 percent from -3.8 percent, largely due to a 3.5 percent drop in fuel & utilities and a 3.8 percent fall in accommodation), transport (-0.3 percent from -0.2 percent, mainly due to a 3.0 percent fall in other travel & transport and a 0.7 percent drop in public road transport) and communication (-0.6 percent from -0.3 percent). In contrast, upward prices pressure came from household durables & services (+2.6 percent from +3.2 percent, due to a  4.4 percent increase in household services & supplies), health care (+2.4 percent from +0.9 percent,  mainly due to a 3.3 percent rise in medical & dental treatment), recreation & culture (+0.8 percent from +1.0 percent, largely due to a 6.3 percent increase in newspapers, book & stationery, a 1.5  percent in holiday expenses), education (+3.2 percent from +3.2 percent, due to a 3.2 percent rise in tuition & other fees and a 0.3 percent increase in school textbooks & related study guides) and miscellaneous goods & services (+0.8 percent from -0.4 percent, due to a 3.6 percent rise in personal effect, a 0.7 percent gain in alcoholic & tobacco and a 0.5 percent rise in personal care.

Prices of food rose 2.0 percent in November, compared to a 1.9 percent growth in a month earlier. Among food, cost of food excluding food servicing services increased by 2.4 percent, following a 2.1 percent rise in the preceding month while food servicing services rose 1.7 percent, the same as in a month earlier. Among food excluding food servicing services, cost increased for bread & cereals (+1.4 percent), meat (+1.7 percent); fish & seafood (+5.3 percent); milk, cheese & eggs (+1.2 percent), fruits (+2.3 percent), vegetables (+5.4 percent); sugar, preserve & confectionery (+0.6 percent) and other food (+2.2 percent). In contrast, prices declined  for oils & fats (-1.2 percent) and non-alcoholic beverages (-0.1 percent). Among food servicing services, prices increased for all categories: restaurant foods (+1.6 percent), fast food (+2.4 percent), hawker food including food courts (+1.8 percent) and catered food (+1.3 percent).

Core inflation, which excludes costs of accommodation and private road transport, rose 1.3 percent year-on-year, following a 1.1 percent gain in the prior month and matching expectations. It was the highest figure since February 2015.

On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices went up 0.3 percent, compared to a 0.3 percent decline in October. It was the highest inflation level in three months, as cost rose for: food (+0.1 percent), clothing & footwear (+0.5 percent), housing & utilities (+1.1 percent), health care (+0.3 percent) and miscellaneous (+0.8 percent). In contrast, cost fell for: household durables & services (-0.4 percent) and communication (-0.5 percent). Cost remained unchanged for: transport and education.


Tuesday December 13 2016
Singapore Jobless Rate Confirmed at 2.1% in Q3
Ministry of Manpower l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Singapore’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 2.1 percent in the September quarter of 2016, the same as in the second quarter and in line with a preliminary estimate. While job seekers outnumbered job openings for the second straight quarter, layoff declined and recruitment and resignation activity remained muted.

In the three months to September, the unemployment rate remained broadly similar among residents residents (2.9 percent from 3.0 percent in June) and citizens (3.0 percent to 3.1 percent). 

Total employment contracted by 2,700, following slower growth in the past two quarters. It was the first decline since the March quarter of 2015, primarily due to contractions in manufacturing (-3,600) and construction (-5,300). In contrast, employment went up in services (+6,300).

Some 4,220 workers were made redundant, down from 4,800 workers in the second quarter but higher than a year ago (3,460). By sector, redundancies fell in manufacturing and services but edged up in construction. The bulk of redundancies were from services (59 percent), mainly in professional services (16 percent), financial services (15 percent) and wholesale trade (10 percent). 

About 49 percent of residents made redundant in the June quarter of 2016 secured employment by September 2016, edging up from 45.0 percent in the previous quarter), after a general downtrend since December 2014 (59 percent). 

Job vacancies increased slightly over the quarter to 50,800 from 49,400 in June,  but remained lower than the same period last year (56,500). The seasonally adjusted ratio of job vacancies to unemployed persons continued to edge lower to 91 job openings per 100 job seekers in September 2016, from 93 in June 2016.

The seasonally adjusted recruitment rate trended down for the second consecutive quarter to 2.1 percent in the third quarter of 2016. Meanwhile, resignation rate held steady at 1.8 percent, similar to the first two quarters of this year.

Considering the first nine months of 2016, total employment grew by 14,500, the lowest growth since 2009 (100). Meanwhile, layoffs was higher across the broad sectors.


Thursday November 24 2016
Singapore Annual GDP Growth Revised Up to 1.1% in Q3
Statistics Singapore l Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

The Singaporean economy advanced 1.1 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2016, lower than a 2 percent expansion in the previous period but above preliminary estimates of a 0.6 percent growth. Figures came better than market expectations of a 1 percent expansion as the manufacturing sector increased and services were flat while construction increased less than anticipated.

Year-on-year, the manufacturing sector expanded by 1.3 percent, better than a 1.1 percent contraction in the preliminary estimates but slightly below 1.4 percent in the previous period. Higher external demand for semiconductors boosted the electronics and precision engineering sector. The services sector was flat, compared to a 0.1 percent decline in the preliminary estimates and following a 1.2 percent rise in the previous period. The construction sector rose at a slower 1.6 percent (2.5 percent in the preliminary estimates) and below 2 percent in the previous quarter.
 
On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualized basis, the economy contracted at a slower 2 percent (-4.1 percent in the preliminary esimates), following a downwardly revised 0.1 percent expansion in the June quarter. Markets were expecting a 2.5 percent contraction.
 
For the rest of the year, the GDP is expected to remain modest. Government forecasts for this year were lowered to 1-1.5 percent from 1-2 percent. For 2017, the economy is expected to expand between 1 and 3 percent.