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Singapore bucks slow productivity trend

It ranked eighth globally in terms of its productivity drivers.

Productivity slowdown is being observed around the world, due to drivers like weak investment, ageing populations, and falling wages. However, Singapore could be one of the countries managing to buck against the trend, Standard Chartered (SC) said.

According to its research, Singapore joined other developed markets (DM) at the top of its Productivity Drivers Index. It grabbed the eighth place, making it one of the Asian economies that have "strong productivity drivers."

The main index ranked countries based on their scores in sub-indices such as total factor productivity (TFP) growth, change in score for regulatory reforms, services potential, investment/GDP, and ICOR.

In terms of TFP growth, it ranked 21st.

Meanwhile, Singapore ranked 11th in terms of change in regulatory reforms. Its score in 2007-2008 against its score in 2014-2015 changed by +0.26, mainly boosted by a +1.17 in business regulations.

Germany and Taiwan led the reform rankings with score changes of +1.04 and +0.91.

The Lion City ranked the highest in SC's services potential sub-index at third place. It had the highest score for five categories, namely FDI and technology transfer, higher education, labour market efficiency, financial market development, and government efficiency.

Meanwhile, Singapore ranked sixth in terms of its investment/GDP.

Lastly, Singapore ranked 10th in terms of incremental capital output ratio (ICOR).

SC observed that ICOR readings across Asian countries are falling when lower figures are supposed to be better. However, Singapore has managed to avoid the trend unlike its neighbours Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan.

SC concluded that Singapore is beside countries like China, Hong Kong, and Vietnam with "best prospects" for productivity. 

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