SINGAPORE – Singapore’s economy shrank by 2.2 per cent year on year in the first quarter of 2020, based on flash estimates released by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) on Thursday (March 26).
MTI also downgraded its full-year growth forecast to a range of -4.0 to -1.0 per cent, confirming that the economy will register its first full-year recession in about two decades. The last time Singapore registered a full-year contraction of its economy was in 2001 during the Dot-Com Bust when growth fell by 1 per cent.
MTI had last estimated 2020 gross domestic product (GDP) growth within a range of minus 0.5 per cent to 1.5 per cent.
The first quarter flash estimate is much worse than a Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) survey of private forecasters released earlier this month that predicted the economy contracting by 0.8 per cent. It is also far deeper than the worst hit during the Sars period when the economy contracted by 0.3 per cent in the second quarter of 2003.
MTI said the advance GDP estimates for the first quarter were computed largely from data in the first two months of the quarter.
Several banks have downgraded their GDP growth outlook for this year and expect the Singapore to post the first full-year recession in about two decades.
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