The year 2012 ended on a Friday, according to this Straits Times report which appeared on the Singapore newspaper’s website. My calendar shows January 1, 2013, is a Tuesday. So December 31, 2012, was a Monday. But it was a Friday, according to this Straits Times report on the Prime Minister’s New Year message. What a story to get the day wrong! And on New Year’s Eve, of all days.
“Singapore’s economy grew at a lackluster (sic, US spelling) 1.2 per cent in 2012, slightly lower than the official forecasts of around 1.5 per cent,” the report began.
“Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced the figures in his regular New Year’s Message on Friday (sic), saying that Singapore is now in a new phase of slower growth.
“For 2012, he attributed some of the lacklustre numbers to weak economies in the US, Europe and Japan that had dampened growth in Singapore.”
Actually, the US economy is expected to have grown by 2.2 per cent in 2012, according to the “ouput, prices and jobs” data published in the holiday double issue of the Economist magazine. The International Monetary Fund estimates the US growth rate at 2.17 per cent. That’s higher than the Singapore growth rate.
While the Singapore economy shrank 5.9 per cent in the third quarter compared with the second quarter, the US economy grew 3.1 per cent. This is how the two economies fared over the year.
The Singapore economy grew 10.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2012 compared with the last quarter of 2011, 0.5 per cent in the second quarter, and then shrank 5.9 per cent in the third quarter, according to the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
The US economy grew 2 per cent in the first quarter, 1.3 per cent in the second quarter and 3.1 per cent in the third quarter, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, US Department of Commerce.
The differerence is, the United States has nearly 8 per cent unemployment and Singapore just about 2 per cent.