SINGAPORE:The Singapore economy contracted 2.2 per cent year-on year in the first quarter of 2020, according to advance estimates released by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) on Thursday (Mar 26).
This compares to a 1.2 per cent growth logged in the first quarter last year, and reversed from a 1.0 per cent growth in the last quarter of 2019.
MTI also further downgraded Singapore's GDP growth forecast for 2020 to “-4.0 to -1.0 per cent”.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, Singapore's GDP shrank by 10.6 per cent quarter-on-quarter, a sharp pullback from the 0.6 per cent growth in the previous quarter.
On Thursday afternoon, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat will deliver a ministerial statement regarding the Governments additional support measures for workers, businesses and households in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said that Singapores economy is taking a “big hit”, but has assured companies that it would keep them "afloat through the storm" by helping them with their costs and cashflow.
The spread of COVID-19 has left the tourism industry in Singapore reeling, with visitor arrivals estimated to fall by 25 per cent to 30 per cent this year. Singapore Airlines has slashed 96 per cent of its capacity and implemented cost-cutting measures, and hotels have resorted to rolling out staycation packages to attract local crowds.
READ: Singapore tourism to take 'significant hit' in 2020 due to coronavirus, up to 30% fewer visitors expected
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said on Monday that it would release its monetary policy statement earlier on Mar 30, as Singapore's core inflation fell 0.1 per cent, slipping into deflation for the first Read More – Source