Lately, it was revealed that Singapore’s economy increased more slowly than predicted in the fourth quarter after the production sector contracted, adding to apprehensions that a trade clash between the U.S. and China will affect on growth in 2019. Increasing trade barriers and uncertainty over the U.S.-China relations are crucial risks for the city-state in the upcoming months, though the shock from trade frictions has until now had only a limited impact on its open and small economy.
The trade-dependent economy increased by 1.6% in the October-December span from the previous 3 Months on a seasonal and an annual basis—the MTI (Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore) said in a statement—slower than expectations. On a quarterly and seasonally-adjusted basis, the manufacturing segment deflated by 8.7%, reversing from 3.1% growth in the third quarter, data illustrated. The gross domestic product was predicted to have expansion by 3.2% in the fourth quarter from the previous 3 Months, as per to six economists surveyed by Reuters. The economy increased a corrected 3.5% in the previous quarter. From a prior year, the economy climbed by 2.2% in the fourth quarter, correlated with the median prediction of 2.3% in the Reuters poll and a revised 2.3% development in the third quarter.
Speaking of the trade war, Hong Kong toy manufacturers are planning to relocate production from China to lower-cost markets. Several of Hong Kong toy producers are preparing for a mass departure from their decades-old manufacturing foundation in China under the anxiety of the U.S.-China trade war, as per an industry expert. As per to Chan Wing-Luen, Lawrence—Chairman of the HKTDC’s (Hong Kong Trade Development Council) Toy Advisory Committee—though the existing disciplinary tariffs only cover few electronic components of toys, the market is now under greater pressure to shift their factories to lower-cost bases such as India, Vietnam, and Indonesia.