Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry downgraded 2019 growth forecast to 0.0-1.0%, and expect growth to come in at around mid-point of the forecast range. That’s notably lower from prior estimate of 1.5-2.5%, after Q2 GDP contracted by -3.3%. The Ministry noted in the statement that “GDP growth in many of Singapore’s key final demand markets in the second half of 2019 is expected to slow from, or remain similar to, that recorded in the first half.”.
Also, “uncertainties and downside risks in the global economy have increased since three months ago”. The risks firstly include US new tariffs on USD 300B in Chinese imports. Secondly, a “a steeper-than-expected slowdown” of China, as precipitated by US tariffs, could lead to a “sharp fall” in Chinese import demands and “negatively affect the region’s growth”. Thirdly, risk of no-deal Brexit “has increased with the recent change in UK’s political leadership.” Fourthly, there are risks from uncertainties in Hong Kong, the trade dispute between Japan and South Korea, as well as geopolitical tensions in North Korea and the Strait of Hormuz.