ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Unemployment and redundancies in services sector loom amid weak economy

It accounts for almost three-fourths of the workforce.

The negative effects of a slowdown in the external environment, as well as the spillovers from the weak manufacturing sector, had become more significant for Singapore’s services sector as trade-related services sectors and financial services activities pulled back, cautioned UOB.

According to UOB, being the largest employer accounting for 72% of the workforce, prolonged slowdown in the services sector will imply even higher labour redundancies and unemployment rates as we start crystal-balling into 2017.

Singapore’s advance estimates of 3Q 2016 GDP growth registered 0.6% y/y, worse than onsensus estimates of a 1.7% y/y growth.

On a q/q SAAR basis, GDP pulled back 4.1%.

The sequential slowdown in 3Q GDP growth was mainly due to the 17.4% q/q SAAR contraction in the manufacturing sector, as well as a 1.9% q/q SAAR contraction in the services sector.

The manufacturing sector remained weighed down by a decline in the output of the transport engineering, biomedical manufacturing and general manufacturing clusters.

The construction sector expanded marginally by 0.5% q/q SAAR.

On the y/y basis, the manufacturing sector fell 1.1%, reversing the 1.4% gain in 2Q.

The services sector also contracted 0.1% y/y, the first contraction since the global financial crisis, while the construction sector gained 2.5% y/y.

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