MAS, MTI, Core inflation

Singapore’s core inflation contracted -0.3 percent

The country’s core inflation contracted for another consecutive month in August, with authorities expecting economic challenges and a weak labor market to continue to dampen consumer demand.

Core inflation, a main consideration for Singapore’s central bank, fell -0.3 per cent in August in comparison with the same period last year, said the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Ministry of Trade and Industry said in a joint news release on Wednesday.

Singapore’s core inflation had fallen -0.4 per cent in July.

The pace of decline had moderated mainly due to a smaller decline in the cost of services, retail and other goods, as well as electricity and gas, said MAS and MTI.

The headline consumer price index (CPI) or overall inflation remained unchanged at -0.4 per cent year-on-year in August after a sharper fall in private transport costs was offset by a more moderate decline in the core CPI components.

MAS and MTI said inflation is expected to remain subdued overall, and their forecast of MAS Core Inflation and CPI‐All Items inflation averaging between -1 per cent and 0 per cent this year.

Economic Downturn

Let’s remember that Singapore suffered a big economic downturn in the Q2 of the year that led to a recession, this as consequence of the crisis for Covid-19 pandemic.

The services and construction sector were the most affected by this economic downturn, the construction sector was practically paralyzed with a 95% drop in the last quarter

The Singapore government forecasts that the GDP will shrink between 4 and 7% in annual terms, which would be considered the worst decline in its history.

The Ministry of Trade attributed the contraction to “low external demand in the context of a downturn in the global economy.”

Although the city-state is slowly going back to its usual activities (opening restaurants, allowing some flights, etc.) it will take some time for things go back to how they were, if they ever go back.

Authorities seek to expand job opportunities for Singaporeans

Singaporean authorities seek to expand job opportunities for Singaporeans through the Manpower Plan.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore supports the Manpower Plan promoted by the Ministry of Manpower that seeks to establish more job opportunities for Singaporeans.

This initiative establishes a salary increase qualifying for pass holders’ entry-level employment in the financial services sector.

The two organizations worked together to determine the new minimum wage for the financial services sector, which now ranks higher than the rest of the economy.

This initiative is developed with the aim of providing more support to the recruitment of Singaporeans in the financial services sector.

Job creation is maintained

Despite the current crisis, the sector has continued to create jobs, with a net increase of less than 1,500 jobs in the first half of the year.

Of this figure 4 out of 5 jobs for Singapore citizens.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore stated that, although job creation will be slower in the second half of the year, it could be frozen for the next.

This salary increase will allow financial institutions to complement their workforce, said Jacqueline Loh, Deputy Director of Markets and Development at MAS.

“The move toward higher salary criteria for PE candidates complements MAS’s workforce development programs to expand job opportunities and deepen local capabilities, Loh said.

In the same way, he pointed out that a high-quality workforce, with a solid core with specialized skills, will allow the Singaporean financial services system to compete internationally.

He stressed that it is necessary to take advantage of new growth opportunities as economies and global ones recover from the crisis generated by the pandemic.

MAS promotes financial stability to boost the Singaporean economy

The Monetary Authority of Singapore pointed out that the agency promotes actions to guarantee financial stability and boost the economy

The head of the Monetary Authority of Singapore said that the agency promotes financial stability for the boost of the economy of the city-state.

In a speech to the president the head of the agency, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, said that they are working with the financial and Fintech sectors.

He also said that the aim is to make Singapore emerge stronger from the crisis and promote the city-state as a global financial center.

In that sense, he pointed out that MAS is focused on providing the support that the financial area requires.

In this way it can continue to support the economy and provide jobs for Singaporeans.

Policies to promote financial stability

Ensure monetary stability:

The agency adopted an accommodative monetary stance to complement the fiscal policy measures that mitigate the economic impact.

Promote financial stability:

MAS provided a series of regulatory measures that do not compromise prudential standards.

Support for people and companies:

The agency promotes a comprehensive package of measures that provide relief to individuals and companies to meet their loan and insurance commitments.

Positioning the financial sector to emerge stronger:

It ensures that the financial sector is well equipped to emerge stronger from the crisis and promote Singapore as a global financial center.

Singapore’s economy is currently going through its most severe decline since independence.

Since the start of the pandemic, the government has allocated more than 80 billion dollars to support the economy amid trade tensions and the global economic crisis.

Official data indicate that the national economy contracted 6.7 percent in the first half of the year, with a record drop in the second quarter.

Singapore FinTech Festival: A world event

Singapore FinTech Festival x SWITCH 2020 is a key event that will connect the world through physical and digital experiences.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore and Enterprice Singapore announced that this year’s festival will be expanded in several cities around the globe, so that people can attend key physical locations and thus connect with the experience.

This initiative will allow global communities of advanced and cutting edge technologies to participate in the event amid the limitations of international travels due to the pandemic.

A physical and digital experience

The festival will feature a hybrid experience that will connect a city with various physical locations around the world.

The activities will be focused on the commercial area to promote sales cycles, discover partnerships and generate investments.

This year’s festival will provide each participating organization with a digital location where they can share and interact with the participants.

Exhibitors will be able to present innovative technologies such as Fintech, smart cities, urban solutions, commerce and connectivity, artificial intelligence and 5G, among others.

Festival participants will be able to go to physical events in each city to establish contacts with local governments and industry leaders.

For five continuous days, live broadcasts will be held 24 hours a day, with the speakers leading the industry in the world, where they will be able to share points of view on topics such as financial inclusion, green technologies and sustainability.

A challenge against the Covid-19

The spread of Covid-19 has highlighted the need to increase efforts and technological capacity to overcome the challenges facing the world.

Under the slogan “People and Talent” it will honor people who show an ability to overcome obstacles to create new opportunities to advance in society.

It will also highlight the pioneers who have made a difference, as well as rising stars with the potential to transform global industries.