Singapore Facing Economic Stagnancy As Trade War Escalates

August 13, 2019

As tension escalates between China-US trade relations, the Singaporean government today slashed its economic growth forecast to a range of 0.0% to 1.0% of GDP, a far cry from the original figures of 1.5% to 2.5% at the start of the year. The key factor behind this stark outlook for the economy ahead is a plunge in non-oil exports, with wholesale and retail trade contracting 7.9% from the same period a year earlier, owing to the enormous decrease in trade-related traffic from both China and the US, Singapore’s two largest trading partners. Commonly regarded by economists and financiers as the archetypal “canary in the coal”, Singapore’s poor economic performance is a harbinger of the gloomy prospects for the global economy, particularly for trade in consumer retail goods, as currently there is no foreseeable end to the tit-for-tat actions of incremental tariffs, currency fluctuations, export bans and other areas of policy skirmishes between a blustering Trump administration and an increasingly resistant China. 

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