SINGAPORE–Singapore’s economy shrank at a slower pace in the third quarter, thanks to the phased reopening of the economy following implementation of the circuit-breaker from April 7 to June 1.
The country’s gross domestic product contracted 7.0% in the third quarter from a year earlier, according to the advance estimate released by the Ministry of Trade and Industry on Wednesday. That compared with 13.3% contraction in the second quarter and was also worse than the median estimate for a 6.8% contraction in a survey of 13 economists by The Wall Street Journal.
On quarter, GDP grew 7.9% on a seasonally adjusted and non-annualized basis, the data showed. That compared with a 13.2% contraction in the second quarter.
Going forward, the MTI will report non-annualized quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted growth rates rather than annualized quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted growth rates, it said.
Manufacturing output grew 2.0% in the third quarter from a year earlier, after contracting 0.8% in the second quarter.
Construction sector shrank 44.7% in the third quarter, compared with 59.9% contraction in the second quarter. Services output shrank 8.0% in the third quarter, compared with 13.6% contraction in the second quarter, the data showed.
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Clarida Says Economy Facing Lengthy Recovery Amid Uncertainty – Yahoo Canada Finance
(Bloomberg) — Federal Reserve Vice Chair Richard Clarida said the U.S. economy faces a long and uncertain recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, and requires continued support from monetary and fiscal policy.
“It will take some time to return to the levels of economic activity and employment that prevailed at the business cycle peak in February, and additional support from monetary — and likely fiscal — policy will be needed,” Clarida said Monday in a speech to an online event hosted by the American Bankers Association. “The economic outlook is unusually uncertain.” His prepared remarks reprise a speech he gave Oct. 14.
The Fed slashed rates to nearly zero in mid-March as the pandemic took hold and has signaled it expects to keep them there through at least 2023, according to forecasts released last month. Clarida said the timing of rate liftoff will be governed by the speed of the economic recovery, not the calendar.
“We expect to keep rates in the current range, which is just north of zero, until we’ve actually got inflation back to 2% on at least a year-over-year basis,” he said in response to a question from the moderator after his speech. “We would want that to be consistent with a very healthy labor market, and also the prospect for inflation to moderately exceed 2% for some time.”
“If the economy recovers faster and sooner that would mean earlier liftoff, and if it recovers more slowly that would mean later liftoff,” he said.
The U.S. economy’s rebound has shown some signs of slowing in recent weeks as fiscal stimulus passed in early spring has expired and the Covid-19 virus makes an autumn resurgence. The most recent economic data has been mixed.
Employment, consumer spending and consumer sentiment have each made important strides but remain well below pre-pandemic levels. Manufacturing unexpectedly declined in September.
The chance that lawmakers in Washington will agree on a new round of spending before the Nov. 3 election appears low but not dead. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday set Tuesday as a deadline for more progress with the White House on a deal, extending her previous deadline by a day. President Donald Trump renewed his offer to go beyond the dollar amounts now on the table.
The spread of Covid-19, meanwhile, has picked up in several countries around the world. Global coronavirus cases have exceeded the 40 million mark, with new cases in the U.S. averaging more than 50,000 a day. Millions of Europeans are facing tighter restrictions on movement, with London and Paris enforcing stricter curbs.
Clarida said the Fed had made important changes in banking regulation and supervision to help keep credit flowing to households and firms. The central bank is also engaged in efforts to modernize the Community Reinvestment Act, which aims to address racial and geographic inequities in the access to credit, he said.
(Updates with Clarida answers to post-speech Q&A in the fifth paragraph.)
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China's economy accelerates as virus recovery gains strength – CBC.ca
China’s shaky economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is gaining strength as consumers return to shopping malls and auto dealerships while the United States and Europe endure painful contractions.
Growth in the world’s second-largest economy accelerated to 4.9 per cent over a year earlier in the three months ending in September, up from the previous quarter’s 3.2 per cent, official data showed Monday. Retail spending rebounded to above pre-virus levels for the first time and factory output rose, boosted by demand for exports of masks and other medical supplies.
Growth ‘still accelerating’
China is the only major economy that is expected to grow this year while activity in the United States, Europe and Japan shrinks.
The recovery is “broadening out and becoming less reliant” on government stimulus, Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics said in a report. He said growth is “still accelerating” heading into the present quarter.
Most Asian stock markets rose on the news of increased activity in China, the biggest trading partner for all of its neighbours. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index added 1.1 per cent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 0.9 per cent. Markets in South Korea and Australia also rose.
China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.7 per cent on expectations the relatively strong data will reduce the likelihood of additional stimulus that might boost share prices.
Warning on international economy
China, where the pandemic began in December, became the first major economy to return to growth after the ruling Communist Party declared the disease under control in March and began reopening factories, shops and offices.
The economy contracted by 6.8 per cent in the first quarter, its worst performance since at least the mid-1960s, before rebounding.
The economy “continued the steady recovery,” the National Bureau of Statistics said in a report. However, it warned, “the international environment is still complicated and severe.” It said China faces great pressure to prevent a resurgence of the virus.
Authorities have lifted curbs on travel and business but visitors to government and other public buildings still are checked for the virus’s telltale fever. Travellers arriving from abroad must be quarantined for two weeks.
Last week, more than 10 million people were tested for the virus in the eastern port of Qingdao after 12 cases were found there. That broke a two-month streak with no virus transmissions reported within China.
Industrial production rose 5.8 per cent over the same quarter last year, a marked improvement over the first half’s 1.3 per cent contraction. Chinese exporters are taking market share from foreign competitors that still are hampered by anti-virus controls.
Retail sales rose 0.9 per cent over a year earlier. That was up from a 7.2 per cent contraction in the first half as consumers, already anxious about a slowing economy and a tariff war with Washington, put off buying. Online commerce rose 15.3 per cent.
In a sign demand is accelerating, sales in September rose 3.3 per cent.
“China’s recovery in private consumption is gathering momentum,” said Stephen Innes of AxiCorp in a report.
Economists say China is likely to recover faster than other major economies due to the ruling party’s decision to impose the most intensive anti-disease measures in history. Those temporarily cut off most access to cities with a total of 60 million people.
The International Monetary Fund is forecasting China’s economic growth at 1.8 per cent this year while the U.S. economy is expected to shrink by 4.3 per cent. The IMF expects a 9.8 per cent contraction in France, 6 per cent in Germany and 5.3 per cent in Japan.
Private sector analysts say as much as 30 per cent of China’s urban workforce, or up to 130 million people, may have lost their jobs at least temporarily. They say as many as 25 million jobs might be lost for good this year.
Why US Voters Trust Trump on the Economy
It’s been 28 years since adviser James Carville helped propel Bill Clinton to the presidency by posting a sign in campaign headquarters reminding everyone there: “It’s the economy, stupid.” That was his singular way of drilling home the message that the economy mattered more to voters than anything else.
So far in 2020, though, it doesn’t seem to be the economy. Even though voters today prefer President Trump to handle the economy as much as ever, he remains behind as the race enters its final two weeks. That raises two questions: Why? And could the economic issue still propel him to a final-days turnaround?
Five times this year, The Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll has asked voters who they think would be better at handling the economy, Mr. Trump or Democrat Joe Biden. Five times they have named the president, by margins ranging from seven to 11 percentage points. Plenty of Americans, in short, appear to buy the president’s argument that the economy was in fine shape before the coronavirus hit, and that it isn’t his fault it has plunged since then.
More than that, when the poll asked voters just last week which issue is most important to them, they named the economy more than any other issue, including the coronavirus. All of that simply serves to frame the mystery of why that set of conditions isn’t working better for Mr. Trump.
The answer starts with evidence suggesting the dominance of the economic issue may be something of a myth, which has its roots in that 1992 campaign. It simply isn’t true that the candidate or party given better marks on handling the economy wins an election, even when the economy seems to get top billing. Voters have other issues propelling them with nearly equal force—and sometimes they view those as matters that also affect their own everyday economy.
Bill McInturff, a Republican pollster who co-directs the Journal/NBC News poll, notes that the same set of conditions prevailed in 2018: Voters said they thought Republicans would do a better job handling the economy, yet the party lost 41 seats in House elections that year. In some respects—the shift of suburban women toward the Democrats, more energized minority voters, concern about health care—this year resembles 2018 more than 2016 when Mr. Trump won.
With the second debate between President Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden’s canceled, they instead appeared in simultaneous town halls on competing TV networks. The two candidates offered Americans a contrast in tone and style. Photo: Jim Watson/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images,Evan Vucci/Associated Press
And though it’s little remembered now, a similar set of circumstances prevailed in 2012. Voters called the economy the most important issue, and more said they preferred Republican Mitt Romney to Democratic President Barack Obama on handling it. Yet Mr. Obama won re-election.
Then, as now, there was a cluster of other issues that, when taken together, rivaled the economy in importance to voters. This year the coronavirus, health care, race relations, climate change and ability to unite the country also are pressing and emotional matters for many voters. On every one, voters tend to prefer Mr. Biden, sometimes by wide margins.
More broadly, now as in 2016, the race seems as much about a struggle over the nation’s culture as about economic issues.
Moreover, voters relate the health of the economy to the handling of the pandemic: If they buy Mr. Biden’s argument that the economy can’t improve until the coronavirus is under better control, they actually see the pandemic as an economic issue. That benefits Mr. Biden.
Democratic pollster Peter Hart, who helps oversee the Journal/NBC News poll, says that as Americans already are standing in long lines to cast ballots, 2020 is a year in which voters see the broader course of the country as the real issue. “The massive turnout in 2020 is occurring because voters understand the stakes that go far, far beyond the two candidates,” he says. “Hidden behind the pandemic are the big issues of race, climate, gender, and safety.”
Mr. Trump also hasn’t played his advantage on the economy particularly well. He talks about his record of accomplishment, but doesn’t lay out many specifics about what he’d do in a second term to revive and extend economic growth. And his fabled rallies tend to veer down side alleys as they did in Michigan on Sunday, when the president’s argument that Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer needs to do more to open up the state’s economy veered into chants from the crowd of, “Lock her up.” Mr. Trump echoed “Lock them all up” just days after the FBI arrested a group of men for plotting to kidnap the governor. That put the emphasis on a divisive message rather than a unifying economic one.
Perhaps Mr. Trump will find better ways in the campaign’s final days to focus voters on the economy, to his benefit. Presidential elections tend to tighten in the end, as wandering voters return to their home base, and as candidates manage to frame the final choice to their benefit. Mr. Trump gets one more big chance, in Thursday’s debate, to bring the argument back to the economy.
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