Singapore slashes 2019 growth forecast stoking recession fears

Amid heightened concerns of a technical recession the economy shrank 3.3 per cent as well

Singapore slashes 2019 growth forecast stoking recession fears

-China trade war expected to continue disrupting regional and global economic outlooks for 2019 and 2020, Singapore drastically cut its expected growth forecast on Tuesday (Aug. 13). The economy is forecast to expand in the range of 0.0 to 1.0 percent this year instead of 1.5 to 2.5 percent estimated previously, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said Tuesday.

GDP growth in the USA is expected to moderate in the second half of the year, as the effects of the fiscal stimulus implemented in early-2018 dissipate while slowing global growth and prolonged trade uncertainty weigh on private investment.

The wholesale & retail trade sector contracted by 3.2% YoY, larger than the 2.5% decline in the previous quarter as wholesale trade segment weakened following a decline in the machinery, equipment & supplies sub-segment.

"If the outlook for trade is going to be a lot gloomier - along with oil taking a hit and issues in the tech sector - any upside in volatility will be bad for Singapore".

Economists in a Reuters poll had expected the final reading to show a 2.9% fall.

For the second quarter this year, Singapore's gross domestic product (GDP) grew marginally by 0.1% on a year-on-year basis, similar to earlier estimates and lower than the 1.1% growth in the first quarter.

A central bank official said after the data release that it was not considering an off-cycle policy meeting.

Meanwhile, China's growth is projected to ease further in the second half of the year on the back of weaker investment growth and a continued decline in exports, exacerbated by the increase in the US's tariffs on its exports.

With little sign that US-China trade row will be resolved soon, exports have been slipping across Asia and governments have slashed economic growth forecasts. Last month, the U.S. Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the first time since 2008.

"All the downside risks are piling up on one side", Ling added, pointing to the myriad of global risks flagged in the ministry's statement.

Singapore will ban the domestic trade in ivory from September 2021, the government said on Monday, shutting the door to an important end-market for poached elephant ivory.

The global trade in ivory has been banned since 1990 under the Convention on worldwide Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), an worldwide treaty signed by most countries.

"The ban will mean that the sale of elephant ivory and ivory products, and public display of elephant ivory and ivory products for the objective of sale will be prohibited", it said.

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