Singapore is looking to implement additional fiscal stimulus of adding about S$100 billion ($74 billion) to further help strengthen an economy anticipated to still encounter more significant uncertainties and challenges ahead next year, a senior official said.
More support will be delivered in its budget early next year for its heavily trade-reliant and trade dependent economy, Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung told Bloomberg Television’s Haslinda Amin. “There will be a new budget to be announced early next year — around February is our timetable — and definitely you’re going to see more fiscal policies coming into play to help uplift the economy during this time,” he said.
So far fiscal support delivered has helped businesses and consumers to be adequately cushioned from the effects of the global pandemic, especially and particularly the battered aviation and hospitality sectors inclusive. However there is no prevention of the economy record contraction this year, estimated by the government at 5%-7%. Construction industry which was well support by the real estate industry, which churned out new condo, new condominium, had suffered a hit due to delayed work progress as many of the workers were on quarantine following the COVID19 outbreak in workers’ quarters and dormitories.
“One major imperative going forward is that we have a fairly widespread and universal jobs support scheme” that helped save jobs, but now the government is “progressively tapering down” stimulus and moving toward encouraging hiring, said Ong, who is also a board member of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the nation’s central bank.
Fiscal policy is critical as central banks globally have little space left to cut interest rates or buy back bonds, he said.
Ong’s comments follow the MAS’s decision Wednesday to keep its policy no change with latest data showing the economy contracted 7% in the third quarter from a year ago.
“We are still in a fairly deep recession,” Ong said.