Singapore's New Company Registration Data And Other Indicators Point To An Improving Economy

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A number of economic statistics and anecdotal evidence suggest that the worst of the downturn is over for Singapore and the country is likely to show growth in the coming quarters.

... green shoots have appeared in America in recent weeks, but they are nothing by comparison with the lush jungle sprouting in the East.

Analysis by GuideMeSingapore.com shows that a number of economic indicators are now pointing to an end to Singapore's recession sometime in the second half of 2009.

While the developed economies of Western Europe and North America are expected to show a slight growth in the second half of 2009, the developing economies of Asia seem to be roaring out of the downturn. According to a recent story in Economist.com (see http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14209825), "... green shoots have appeared in America in recent weeks, but they are nothing by comparison with the lush jungle sprouting in the East." In the second quarter of 2009, Asia's emerging economies are estimated to have grown at an average annualized rate of over 10%, while America's GDP fell by 1%. In 2009 as a whole, forecasts suggest that emerging Asia could grow by at least 5%, while the G7 economies will contract by 3.5%.

On Sept 22, 09, the Asian Development Bank (see http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aLBRz.m4qSHI) raised its economic growth forecast for the region and predicated that China's economy will expand 8.2 per cent this year, up from the 7 per cent projected six months ago. "China's economy is getting stronger and that's good news for neighboring countries," China's ambassador to the Philippines, Mr Liu Jianchao, told foreign correspondents on September 22, 09. The rising tide of Chinese growth is also lifting the boats of many other South East Asian economies that have strong economic integration with the China. Comparing the second quarter with the first at an annualized rate, China's GDP grew by 15%, South Korea's by almost 10%, Indonesia's managed a respectable 5% while Singapore's soared by 21%.

The Singapore economy in particular is showing a definite end to its recession and a robust return to growth. The Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) deputy chairman and executive director Tony Tan said recently that the worst of the crisis seems to be over for Asia which is expected to continue to improve economically through 2010. Dr Tan brings a lot of credibility to his predictions, having earlier correctly predicted the 'worst scenario' though he was lambasted by many private sector economists after his 'worst in 60 years' prediction.

GuideMeSingapore.com analysis finds some tantalizing validations for Singapore's growth projections from several other Singapore-focused indicators as well. In particular, a) sales transaction data from Singapore's residential real estate market, b) statistics for new Singapore company incorporations from the country's Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and c) the industrial production time series data from Singapore's Economic Development Board reinforce these growth forecasts.

First the real estate story. The residential real estate market in Singapore clearly hit the bottom sometime in the second quarter of 2009 and came roaring back in July, 09. On a month by month comparison between June 09 and July 09, the number of houses sold rose by 51% in Core Central Region and by 247% in the Outside Central Region. While the sale prices continue to be lower when compared with prices from a year ago, when compared month-on-month with the June 2009's median price, prices in July 2009 rose impressively. For example:

  • The $2,792 psf median price achieved at The Hamilton Scotts in July 2009 was a 10.57% rise over the median price of $2,525 psf of June 2009.
  • The July median price of $1,771 psf at RiverGate was a 14.2% increase over the median price of $1,551 psf in June 2009.

This is strong evidence to show that the high-end new home segment has stabilized for now.

The number of new business startups in Singapore is another noteworthy data that augurs well for the country's economy. New company registrations often indicate a growing confidence among entrepreneurs about the prospect of an economy. Latest figures from Singapore's Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) show that when comparing the number of new businesses formed for May, 2009 with those for December, 2008 there has been a jump of 88%.

Jacqueline Low, the Director of Corporate Services at Janus Corporate Solutions - the Singapore Company that runs the GuideMeSingapore.com site - explained the rise by saying, "The downturn has created opportunities for entrepreneurs in a number of sectors. In particular, a number of the weak players in low margin industries have not survived the severe recession and their demise has created market opportunities for new entrants." She added, "In recent months, we have seen a strong jump in the demand for our Singapore company registration services both from local as well as foreign clients."

Finally, the index of industrial production as measured by Singapore's Economic Development Board has registered a jump from 87.6 in December, 2008 to 104.9 in July, 2009.

Thus, a number of indicators seem to suggest that the worst of the economic downturn is behind for most Asian economies and Singapore, in particular. The coming quarters are likely to show healthy growth in these countries.

About GuideMeSingapore.com
GuideMeSingapore.com website is a unit of Janus Corporate Solutions Pte. Ltd, a leading professional services firm that specializes in Singapore company formation, statutory administration, work permits, taxation, and related business services. For further details, please visit http://www.guidemesingapore.com/.

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