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Singapore’s poor GDP results suggest bad news for Asia’s export-dependent economies

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by Kay Mitchell
”Singapore’s

The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) has revealed that Singapore’s economy contracted by 19.7% for the January to March period – the largest quarterly contraction on record.

The MTI said the economy’s performance was much worse than expected and comes despite efforts of boosting economic activity, following the country’s £8.6 billion stimulus package, announced earlier this year.

The figures will bring more bleak news for the export-dependent Asian nations already struggling with the worst economic slowdown since World War II.

According to the Government, expectations are for Singapore’s economy to shrink between 6% and 9% this year, revised from a previous forecast of a fall between 2% and 5% – the third time growth forecast has been cut.

Singapore has been the first Asian country to report GDP figures for the first three months of 2009 and its poor performance suggests that the region’s most export-dependent economies (Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong) may face deeper recessions than previously anticipated.

China is due to announce preliminary first quarter GDP results later this week but over the weekend, the country’s Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said the economy is showing some signs of recovery.

The PM said there are some “positive changes” but the economy still faces “very big difficulties.”

A 4 trillion yuan (£399 billion) stimulus package has already been implemented by China to boost economic activity. China’s economy is the third largest in the world.

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News posted: April 14, 2009

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