You know for a country which is expected to achieve a growth forecast of 13-15% for 2010, Singapore will rather strangely be in a recession at the end of the year! That’s according to Singapore Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry, S Iswaran.
Now for people who have no idea about what this is about, Mr. S Iswaran said in Parliament that Singapore will see a technical recession in the second half of 2010. Yet Singapore will still see growth of 13-15% for the full year.
If there was ever any doubt in anyone’ mind Singapore has a strange economy, this will settle it! Singapore must be the only country in the world which will end the year in a recession even while growing 13-15%. Now I heard of countries growing while ending the year in a recession, but growing 15% and still managing to end the year in a recession? That has to be a first!
Now some people might accuse me of splitting hairs but a technical recession is still a recession! A recession while the country achieved a growth forecast of 13-15%. Who can read that line and tell me it isn’t strange?
What’s even stranger for me is the fact that in Q3 (the July-September period), the Singapore economy fell 19.8%, the largest contraction since 1975. If there is a technical recession, then Q4 will have another contraction. 20% contraction in Q3, another contraction in Q4; yet we managed to grow 15% for the full year. Doesn’t this mean that in the first half of the year, Singapore grew by…over 30%?
Now the same people who accuse me of splitting hairs on the technical recession will also say I’m splitting hairs because in the end, Singapore still grew by 15%. However I disagree with the notion that all’s well in the economy because Singapore manage to post an impressive number. Reading these numbers, you have to say it sounds like a year of feast and famine.
That means the growth of Singapore was unbalanced. And when that happens, it means the Singapore economy is unbalanced. And having an unbalance economy is never a good thing.