In his Lunar New year message, PM Lee Hsien Loong emphasised the renewal of the economy stressing the need to “[renew ourselves [and take] in fresh directions, [open] new markets and fields of business”.
While he acknowledged that economic restructuring would be difficult, he asked that Singaporeans show resilience: “…we have to persevere with upgrading, because it is the only way to improve” and was “confident [that] we can succeed.”
Economic indicators paint an increasingly bleak picture?
According to full-year date released yesterday (26 Jan) by the Ministry of Manpower, the number of workers who were retrenched hit a high of 16,600, up from 15,580 the year before.
In addition, median wages for Singaporeans (including CPF contributions) increased by 0.7% to $3,823 which is the slowest rate of growth when compared to the previous years’.
While economists polled by the mainstream media pointed to an increase in manufacturing activity which may have a trickle-down effect onto the service sectors in the second half of the year, global conditions paint a different picture.
Trump’s restriction of global trade may also have an adverse impact on Singapore’s economy considering the US is Singapore’s 5th largest import partner while China’s growth has also slowed tremendously.
Committee for Future Economy (CFE) to explore new ideas?
In his new year speech, PM Lee also said that the CFE will also “identify new and promising industries and sectors” while the Budget – which will be delivered on 20th Feb – “will follow up with concrete measures to implement the CFE proposals”.
However, this did not seem to strike a chord with netizens. One Leslie Poon said that that the Premier “should just have a repeat button engineered with some speakers – national day say same thing, CNY same thing, basically the same thing over and over again.”
What do you think?