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Singapore upgrades third-quarter GDP, sees economy returning to growth next year – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Singapore’s economy contracted much less than initially estimated in the third quarter due to gradual easing of COVID-19 lockdown measures and authorities expect the city-state to bounce back to growth next year from its worst recession.

Gross domestic product (GDP) fell 5.8% year-on-year in the third quarter, the ministry of trade and industry said on Monday, versus the 7% drop seen in the government’s advance estimate.

Analysts expected a 5.4% contraction, according to the median of 10 forecasts.

The government said it now expects full-year GDP to contract between 6.5% and 6% versus its prior forecast for a 5% to 7% decline. The country is still facing the biggest downturn in its history.

The economy is expected to grow 4% to 6% next year.

“The recovery of the Singapore economy in the year ahead is expected to be gradual, and will depend to a large extent on how the global economy performs and whether Singapore is able to continue to keep the domestic COVID-19 situation under control,” the MTI said in a statement.

The economy grew 9.2% from the previous three months on a seasonally adjusted basis, compared with the 13.2% contraction in the second quarter. The bounce marked the end of a “technical recession”, as it followed two preceding quarterly contractions.

(Reporting by Chen Lin and Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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Economy

Kenya Economy Slumps Into Recession on Third Quarter Contraction – BNN

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(Bloomberg) — Kenya slid into a recession for the first time after the economy contracted for a second straight quarter as measures introduced by the East African state to slow the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic continued to hurt output.

Gross domestic product fell 1.1% during the quarter July through September, compared with a year earlier, after shrinking a revised 5.5% in the previous three months, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics said Thursday by email. The outcome was in line with the median of three economists’ estimates in a Bloomberg survey.

Before the decline in the second quarter, sub-Saharan Africa’s third-biggest economy last contracted in 2008, when post-election violence led to a 1.6% drop in output, according to the statistics office.

Kenya confirmed its first coronavirus infection in mid-March and later imposed a partial lockdown. Shutdowns in key markets such as the European Union and the U.K. as well as global travel restrictions hit the country’s main foreign-income earners, including tourism and exports of tea, flowers, fruit and vegetables.

Highlights:

  • Agriculture, which makes up a third of GDP, continued to buoy the region’s biggest economy and grew by 6.3%, compared with 7.3% expansion in the April to June period. That was helped by tea production, which increased 14% in the quarter compared with a year earlier, thanks to favorable weather. Kenya is the world’s biggest exporter of the black variety.
  • Education and accommodation and food services, which suffered the most during the nation’s lockdown, contracted by 42% and 58%. They contracted 56% and 83% respectively in the second quarter.
  • The World Bank sees Kenya’s economy rebounding to growth of 6.9% in 2021, from an estimated 1% contraction last year, according to the lender’s latest Global Economic Prospects report.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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Major event cancellations taking toll on Lethbridge economy – Global News

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Exhibition Park is postponing its early 2021 events due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.

“Obviously our hand is a little bit forced,” Mike Warkentin, the chief operating officer for Exhibition Park, said.

Read more:
Lethbridge trade and consumer shows at Exhibition Park postponed

He added health and safety has to be the number one priority, but said they also know many businesses and organizations depend on their venue.

All those vendor transactions trickle into the community, adding millions to the local economy.

Read more:
Province announces nearly $28 million for Exhibition Park in Lethbridge

“In an average year we were generating in upwards of $70 million to $75 million of economic impact, we do anticipate that to be significantly down,” Warkentin said.

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Trevor Lewington with Economic Development Lethbridge said that the impact of the event cancellations will likely be felt widely in the community.

“Any of these events — whether its at Exhibition Park or anywhere else in the city — these are people that come to the city and buy meals, they potentially go to the mall and spend money in a retail store, they are often staying at a hotel,” Lewington said.

He said seeing major events delayed or cancelled slows down the whole flow of the economy.

“It’s the deals that happen during those shows, it’s the sales transactions, that’s the larger economic impact.

“You are bringing together vendors and potential customers and so, as those events get cancelled or postponed, you are also delaying some of those interactions.”

Hannah Lee with Sill and Soil is a Lethbridge business owner and past vendor at the Home and Garden Show, one of the events that has been postponed.  She is giving other businesses without a storefront the chance to set up in her shop during COVID-19 while things like markets are on hold.

Read more:
Southern Alberta businesses find success opening during pandemic

“It’s a really anxious feeling knowing, like what do I do with all of this stock, should I sell it, or do I stay prepared and ready to go at the drop of a hat. So it’s such a stressful feeling for sure,” added Lee.

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She also said postponing can be hard for vendors trying to juggle inventory, but it’s usually a better option than cancelling. That’s something the exhibition is hoping to avoid.

“We are very cautiously optimistic things will open up a little bit and we will be able to run these events and get the nearly 600 small businesses through the park in a safe and responsible way,” Warkentin said.

He added they are taking a “wait and see” approach before announcing any further delays or cancellations.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Economy

Philippine Economy Shrinks More Than Expected in Fourth Quarter – BNN

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(Bloomberg) — The Philippine economy contracted more quickly than economists expected in the fourth quarter even as more businesses reopened from a lengthy lockdown.

Gross domestic product shrank 8.3% in the three months through December from a year earlier, the statistics agency said Thursday. That compared with the median estimate for a 7.9% decline in a Bloomberg survey and the third quarter’s revised 11.4% contraction.

For all of 2020, GDP plunged 9.5%, just as economists forecast.

The Philippines was among the world’s fastest-growing economies over the past decade but now is struggling to escape recession, with analysts expecting growth to turn positive only in the second quarter of this year. The World Bank forecasts Philippine GDP to expand 5.9% this year, below pre-pandemic levels, as restrictions on movement remain amid Southeast Asia’s second-worst virus outbreak.

President Rodrigo Duterte plans to spend a record 4.7 trillion pesos ($98 billion) this year, hoping to drive GDP growth as high as 7.5%.

The nation’s vaccination program will be key to any economic recovery. The government aims to vaccinate 70% of the 100 million population by the end of 2022 to achieve herd immunity, but so far has signed deals for only about one-third of the doses needed.

Other key points from Thursday’s briefing:

  • Compared to the previous quarter, GDP grew 5.6% on a seasonally adjusted basis in the final three months of the year, slower than the 6% expected
  • The full-year figure was down from 6% growth for all of 2019

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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