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Singapore's economic contraction slows in third quarter

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    Reuters

Singapore   /   Wed, October 14, 2020   /   01:02 pm
Singapore's economic contraction slows in third quarter Singapore Airlines and its low cost subsidiary Scoot airline planes are parked on the tarmac Changi International Airport in Singapore on March 16, 2020. (AFP/Roslan Rahman)

The contraction of Singapore's economy slowed in the July-September period, falling 7.0 percent year on year following a record 13.3 percent decline during the previous three months, according to official advance estimates released Wednesday.

"The improved performance of the Singapore economy in the third quarter came on the back of the phased re-opening of the economy" in early June after a semi-lockdown that was imposed in early April to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said in a statement.

Services industries declined 8 percent. Aviation- and tourism-related sectors "continued to see significant contractions" after being hit by global travel restrictions and sluggish travel demand amid the pandemic, the ministry said.

Retail also remained weak as a slew of social distancing measures remained. Construction fell 44.7 percent following a 59.9 percent fall during the second quarter.

In contrast, the finance and insurance, and information and communications sectors remained steady during the third quarter.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore said Wednesday that the country's growth momentum is likely to be "modest" amid "persistent weakness in some domestic services and limited recovery in the travel-related sector."

But it projected the Singapore economy to expand next year after the recession this year, even though "activity in travel-related services will still be short of pre-pandemic levels."

The ministry has projected the economy to shrink between 5 percent and 7 percent this year.