BANGKOK – Singapore’s gross domestic product shrank 7 percent between July and September compared to the same period in 2019.
This marked the third consecutive quarter of contraction in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Preliminary data released on Wednesday by the Singaporean Ministry of Trade and Industry is worse than expert estimates although it points to some recovery following the 13.3 percent slump in the second quarter of the year, when the country entered a technical recession.
Construction and services sectors, including tourism, transport and aviation, are the worst affected with contractions of 44.7 percent and 8 percent, respectively, compared to the third quarter of last year.
“Construction output in the third quarter remained weak on account of the slow resumption of construction activities due to the need for construction firms to implement safe management measures for a safe restart,” the ministry said in a statement.
Aviation and tourism-related sectors such as air transport and accommodation posted significant declines due to “global travel restrictions and sluggish travel demand” on account of the pandemic.
“Other trade-related services sectors, such as wholesale trade, were also weighed down by weak external demand as major economies around the world continued to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic,” it added.
Meanwhile, manufacturing expanded by 2 percent.
“Growth of the sector was supported by output expansions in the electronics and precision engineering clusters, which were in turn driven by robust global demand for semiconductors and semiconductor manufacturing equipment,” the ministry said.
Consumer-facing sectors, including retail and food services, improved after the lifting of the so-called Circuit Breaker measures that were implemented from April 7 to June 1 to slow the spread of COVID-19, but “they remained in contraction, with sales volumes coming in below year-ago levels due to weak consumer confidence and capacity constraints resulting from safe distancing measures.”
Finance and insurance, and information and communications sectors recorded steady growth throughout the quarter.
The city-state has detected 57,884 confirmed coronavirus cases, including 28 deaths since the start of the pandemic.