Saturday, December 6, 2008

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Singapore's current recession will last to 2009 making it the longest recession ever

THE current recession here will last till at least the middle of 2009, making it Singapore's longest recession ever, according to Chua Hak Bin, Head of Equity Research, Citigroup. Speaking at a forum organised by the Singapore Press Club yesterday, he added however that there could be a few silver linings for Singapore.

Shipping rates falling over 90 per cent

At the same forum, Manu Bhaskaran, CEO of economic consulting and advisory firm Centennial Asia Advisors, painted a gloomy outlook for the economy, noting that trade financing has been badly affected, with shipping rates falling over 90 per cent from their peak. This would have a significant impact on Singapore's trade-dependent economy, he noted. Monetary and fiscal easing by governments around the world, while appropriate, would take around 12 months to start having positive effects, he said. 'But we need more demand right now,' he added.

banks are being extremely cautious about approving loans

In the local context, Mr Bhaskaran pointed out that banks are being extremely cautious about approving loans, and thus foreign investors - even if they are interested in coming into Singapore - might have problems getting the funding they need for projects here. Many large projects have already been postponed, and more are likely to suffer the same fate, which would put further downward pressure on growth. He added that the IMF's forecast of 2 per cent growth for Singapore next year was 'highly optimistic'.

60% of the world now in recession

Mr Chua pointed out that up to 60 per cent of the world - China and India being the exceptions - is now in recession, which points to the slowest global growth since the global recession of 1981. He pointed out that in the US, asset values are still dropping, with housing prices set to fall about 33 per cent from their peak before bottoming out. He estimated this would happen by around the end of 2009.

Downward pressure on some Asian currencies

With the sharp cutbacks in spending by Americans as well as Europeans, Asia would inevitably be affected. There would also be downward pressure on some Asian currencies, including the Singapore dollar, he said, which could go to 1.60-1.65 to the US dollar next year.

Extracted from BT

May also want to read:
Fire Sale: Owners Dump Condos
The days of Cheap, Easy Credits chasing after property is OVER!
When the bubble of greed and fear burst, guess who suffer?
Property Investment Tip: Don't put all your eggs in one basket
HDB Resales: West Sees Highest Price Increase


Anonymous said...

Interesting viewpoints on the SG economy. I hope it doesn't last that long - but right now, it's anybody's guess, really.

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