Tuesday May 23 2017
Singapore Inflation Rate At 4-Month Low of 0.4%
Statistics of Singapore l Chusnul Ch Manan| chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Singapore rose 0.4 percent year-on-year in April of 2017, compared to a 0.7 percent rise in March and below market expectations of 0.7 percent gain. It was the lowest inflation rate since December 2016, mainly driven by lower cost of housing. In contrast, prices accelerated for food and transport. On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices fell 0.3 percent, compared to a flat reading in March.

Year-on-year, prices rose for:  clothing & footwear (0.5 percent from -0.2 percent in the prior month), household durables & services (0.8 percent from 1.6 percent, largely due to a  1.9 percent increase in household services & supplies); health care (3.0 percent from 2.8 percent, mainly driven by a 3.6 percent rise in medical & dental treatment and a 0.8 percent gain in medical products, appliances & equipment); transport (4.7 percent from 4.5 percent, mainly due to a 7.0 percent rise in private road transport and a 1.4 percent rise in other travel & transport); recreation & culture (0.3 percent from 0.3 percent, largely due to a 0.2 percent increase in newspapers, book & stationery and a 1.0 percent growth in holiday expenses); education (3.2 percent from 3.6 percent, due to a 3.2 percent rise in tuition & other fees and a 0.1 percent increase in school textbooks & related study guides) and miscellaneous goods & services (0.1 percent from 0.2 percent. In contrast, cost of housing & utilities  fell 4.6 percent, faster than a -3.2 percent drop in March, largely due to a 6.7 percent drop in accommodation).
 
Prices of food rose 1.3 percent in April, the same as in the previous two months. Among food excluding food servicing services, cost increased for bread & cereals (0.3 percent); fish & seafood (3.5 percent); milk, cheese & eggs (1.1 percent); fruits (2.1 percent); sugar, preserves & confectionery (0.9 percent); other food (1.7 percent), and meat (0.5 percent ).
 
In contrast, prices fell for oils & fats (-1.9 percent), vegetables (-0.1 percent), and non-alcoholic beverages (-0.6 percent). Among food servicing services, prices increased for all categories: restaurant foods (1.2 percent), fast food (0.9 percent), hawker food including food courts (1.7 percent) and catered food (1.7 percent).
 
Core consumer prices, which exclude costs of accommodation and private road transport, went up 1.7 percent year-on-year, compared to a 1.2 percent rise in the prior month and above market expectations of 1.3 percent rise. It was the highest figure since October 2014. 
 
On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices decreased 0.3 percent, compared to a flat reading in March.




Friday April 28 2017
Singapore Jobless Rate Highest In Over 7 Years
Ministry of Manpower l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Singapore’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate edged up to 2.3 percent in the first quarter of 2017 from 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter 2016, preliminary estimates showed. It was the highest jobless rate since the December quarter 2009.

In the three months to March, the jobless rate was unchanged compared to the prior quarter for residents (3.2 percent) and citizens (3.5 percent). 

Some 4,800 workers were laid off, lower than the fourth quarter (5,440), but similar to a year ago (4,710). Redundancies declined in manufacturing, but continued to increase in construction and services. 

Total employment fell 8,500, compared to the seasonal high in the prior quarter (2,300). It was the biggest quarterly contraction in nearly 14 years. The decline occurred in manufacturing (-4,400) and construction (-12,900), mainly due to a decrease in Work Permit Holders. At the same time, services employment continued to grow (8,700), though growth was slower than the first quarter of 2016 (13,200). 




Monday April 24 2017
Singapore Inflation Rate Steady At 0.7% In March
Statistics Singapore | Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Singapore rose 0.7 percent year-on-year in March of 2017, the same as in February and in line with markets expectations. The inflation rate remained at its highest level since August 2014, mainly driven by an increase in cost food and transport while cost of housing continued to fall.

Year-on-year, upward prices pressure came from: household durables & services (1.6 percent from 1.5 percent in the prior month, largely due to a  2.7 percent increase in household services & supplies); health care (2.8 percent from 2.6 percent, mainly driven by a 3.3 percent rise in medical & dental treatment and a 1.1 percent gain in medical products, appliances & equipment); transport (4.5 percent from 4.2 percent, mainly due to a 6.9 percent rise in private road transport and a 0.1 percent rise in other travel & transport); recreation & culture (0.3 percent from 0.5 percent, largely due to a 0.2 percent increase in newspapers, book & stationery and a 0.9 percent growth in holiday expenses); education (3.6 percent from 3.6 percent, due to a 3.7 percent rise in tuition & other fees and a 0.1 percent increase in school textbooks & related study guides) and miscellaneous goods & services (0.2 percent from -0.6 percent. In contrast, cost declined for: clothing & footwear (-0.9 percent from-0.2 percent); housing & utilities (-3.2 percent from -3.1 percent, largely due to a 4.0 percent drop in accommodation) and communication (-0.4 percent from  0.7 percent).

Prices of food rose 1.3 percent in March, the same as in February. Among food excluding food servicing services, cost increased for bread & cereals (0.7 percent); fish & seafood (2.3 percent); milk, cheese & eggs (0.5 percent); fruits (3.0 percent); vegetables (0.2 percent); sugar, preserves & confectionery (1.0 percent); non-alcoholic beverages (0.1 percent) and other food (0.7 percent). In contrast, prices fell for meat (-0.1 percent ) and oils & fats (-3.0 percent). Among food servicing services, prices increased for all categories: restaurant foods (1.2 percent), fast food (2.2 percent), hawker food including food courts (1.7 percent) and catered food (2.5 percent).

Core consumer prices, which exclude costs of accommodation and private road transport, went up 1.2 percent year-on-year, unchanged from the prior month.

On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices remained unchanged in March, the same as in a month earlier.


Thursday April 13 2017
Singapore GDP Grows More Than Expected In Q1
Statistics of Singapore | Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

The Singaporean economy advanced 2.5 percent year-on-year in the first three months of 2017, lower than 2.9 percent growth in the previous period but above market expectations of a 2.4 percent expansion. It was the highest first quarter growth since 2014, mainly boosted by manufacturing, advance estimates showed.

Year-on-year, the manufacturing sector expanded by 6.6 percent, following a 11.5 percent growth in the previous three months, driven by the electronics and precision enginering clusters. The services producing industries advanced 1.5 percent, compared to a 1 percent growth in the December quarter, largely due to the wholesale and retail trade and transportation and storage sectors.

In contrast, the construction sector contracted by 1.1 percent, extending the 2.8 percent decrease in the fourth quarter, due to a sharper decline in private sector construction activities.

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted annualized basis, the economy contracted by 1.9 percent, following a 12.3 percent expansion in the December quarter and in line with market expectations. It was the strongest contraction since the third quarter of 2012, mainly due to a decrease in manufacturing (-6.6 percent from 39.8 percent in Q4) and services (-2.2 percent from 8.4 percent) while construction continued to rise (5.4 percent from 0.8 percent).




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.