Thursday, April 9, 2009

Singapore To Cut GDP Forecast

Source : The Business Times, April 9, 2009

Singapore's growth forecast will have to be revised downwards as export levels remain depressed in the current global recession, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Thursday.

Speaking to reporters after his visit to NTUC's Employment and Employability Institute (e2i), PM Lee said that the current forecast of a 2 to 5 per cent contraction this year will be revised down when the Ministry of Trade and Industry releases Q1 GDP figures next Tuesday. But he said he does not expect the contraction to enter the double-digits zone.

On the jobs front, Mr Lee said that the number of retrenchments hit 10,000 in the first quarter of this year, but that this was fewer than anticipated, thanks to job-saving measures such as Spur and the Jobs Credit scheme.

Asked whether additional off-budget measures are on the cards as May Day approaches, Mr Lee said that measures under January's $20.5 billion resilience package are still being rolled out and are showing results, so it would be premature to speak of additional ones just yet.

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