Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tough Times Ahead

It’s as good as official. Singapore is headed for recession as the global financial crisis sweep across the world.

With the US economy wilting under its worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, Iceland on the brink of national bankruptcy and countries across Europe and Russia rescuing banks left, right and centre, the news isn’t too unexpected. After all Singapore is heavily dependent on trade, so when our export markets in the US and Europe suffer, so do we.

What worries me is the fact that some economists say that the slowdown could last 2 years. Almost all of them have written off 2009 but the fact that some of them have written off 2010 as well worries me. This shows me that there’s a lack of confidence that the U.S can solve their subprime mortgage problems. And given that more than two-thirds of our country's economy is driven by external demand; that is bad, bad news.

Just 2 months, the Singapore's government cut its forecast for economic growth this year to between four and five percent and recently Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam warned that we could be stuck in an economic downturn for "several quarters".

Bad news on the left, worse news on the right. Look like there’s tough times ahead for everyone.

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