Thursday, December 20, 2012
Economy: Singapore's Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang says Singapore needs to brace itself for a challenging year ahead as external conditions remain difficult. The minister said Europe is in recession and Japan's economy is not growing very rapidly. He added that the United States is recovering, but much depends on how the country resolves the fiscal cliff issue. "If you look at the developed markets, the growth is below their potential and if you look at the emerging markets, growth is still holding up but the strength of the developing market cannot counteract the slowdown in the developed markets. So, overall for global growth, the estimate is that it will be below potential," said Mr Lim. The minister added that Singapore also has to make some internal domestic adjustments. These include slowing down labour force growth and concentrating on productivity growth. This would mean making some adjustments in many of the sectors which are behind international benchmarks in terms of productivity. On Singapore's economy, Mr Lim said economic growth in 4Q12 is expected to be about the same as 3Q. Preliminary estimates showed that the Singapore economy grew by 0.3% in 3Q12.