Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Getting on the Same Page

For years, the Singapore government has touted their unity and their reputation as a solid steady ship guiding Singapore in the waters of a big bad world.

However one of the victims of the financial crisis seems to be this unity. Specifically, I am talking about Singapore’s GDP number. In January 2009, the Ministry of Trade & Industry's forecast was at +1% to -2%. Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong then said that the economy could shrink by 8 per cent last week. Then Minister Mentor Lee said that the number could even be -10%.

Now I know that things are moving fast but the Singapore government need to be on the same page here. This is still early March. Surely the estimate number can’t go from +1% to -10% in just…what 60 days?

I find it pretty scary that the Singapore government is looking kind of clueless on this matter and are seemingly not on the same page here. More than just a numbers game, these varying figures are worsening sentiments on the ground.

Projection of a country’s GDP is very important so unless the government figure out a firm number, it’s better for everyone that everyone keeps their mouth shut about it.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

60 days is actually a long time in this current market.

Ghost said...

Not when it come to GDP numbers. GDP numbers are for the whole year and the range went from +1% to -10% in just about 60 days. That a 11% swing.

Ape said...

Kind off reminded me of a optical salesman...

Client asked the salesman the price for a pair of glasses. Salesman replied $100. Noticing that the client looked indifferent, he added, "it's just for the frame... glasses cost another $100..." and still the client is unfazed so he pushed on
"... each"

So perhaps, Govt is watching people's reaction? No mass panic? No mass suicide? OK, tell them more. Still no mass protests? Drop the figure more... I'm just guessing...

Anonymous said...

60 days out of 365 is 16+%; hardly insignificant. Given the rapidly deteriorating state of the world economy in the last few months, it is not inconceivable that an honest forecast might require readjustment.

Ghost said...

It's still a 11% swing. How often is there a 11% swing in GDP numbers anywhere in the world? And in 60 days to boot!

Anonymous said...

While I am no economist, I am fairly confident that such extreme swings do not happen often at all. Then again, if you look at what has happened in 2008, these are hardly 'normal times'.