Singapore declares its recession over


Singapore on Thursday declared a severe recession over as data showed its economy grew for the second straight quarter in the three months to September.

Official data released Thursday showed gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 14.2 percent in the July-September period on a quarter-on-quarter annualised basis following a 21.7 percent surge in the previous quarter.

“Effectively, the recession in Singapore is over,” Ravi Menon, the permanent secretary with the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), said at a media briefing.

Year-on-year, Singapore’s GDP grew 0.6 percent in the third quarter compared with a 3.3 percent contraction in the April-June period, the MTI said in its third quarter economic survey.

In its outlook for 2010, the ministry forecasted economic growth of 3.0-5.0 percent while maintaining its existing projection of a contraction of 2.0-2.5 percent this year.

Singapore’s trade-reliant economy was the first in Asia to sink into a recession last year as the global downturn hit demand for its exports, especially from the United States.

Singapore cbank: no change in underlying inflation
Nopporn Wong-Anan & Saeed Azhar

Singapore said on Thursday that an upward revision in its forecast for the consumer price index in 2010 was due to a pending increase in property tax rather than any broader increase in underlying inflation.

Singapore revised its inflation forecast for 2010 to a range of 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent, from an earlier projection of 1-2 percent, citing an increase in the property tax that will take effect next year.

“There has not been any significant change in our assessment of underlying cost and price pressures in the economy from the time of the monetary policy statement release in October,” Monetary Authority of Singapore Deputy Managing Director Ong Chong Tee said at a briefing.

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