- Singapore’s economy plunged into recession last quarter as an extended lockdown shuttered businesses and decimated retail spending, a sign of the pain the pandemic is wreaking across export-reliant Asian nations.
Gross domestic product declined an annualized 41.2% from the previous three months, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said in a statement Tuesday, the biggest quarterly contraction on record and worse than the Bloomberg survey median of a 35.9% drop. Compared with a year earlier, GDP fell 12.6% in the second quarter, versus a survey median of -10.5%.
The deep slump shows the blow Singapore’s economy is taking from all sides amid the pandemic. A plunge in global trade has hit the export-reliant manufacturing industry, while retailers saw a record decline in sales after partial lockdown measures were imposed last quarter. The government, which has projected a full-year economic contraction of 4%-7%, didn’t provide a new forecast Tuesday.
Singapore is one of the first countries to report quarterly GDP data, and the figures show it’s taking a bigger hit than many others in Asia. Japan’s GDP is seen declining more than 20% on an annualized basis in the second quarter from the previous three months, while data this week probably will show China’s economy returned to growth.
The dismal outlook in Singapore is pressuring the ruling People’s Action Party, which had its weakest performance ever in last week’s election. The government has already pledged about S$93 billion ($67 billion) in stimulus to shore up troubled businesses and households and prevent a surge in retrenchments.