SINGAPORE, May 26 (Xinhua) -- Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) announced on Tuesday that Singapore's GDP growth forecast for 2020 was further downgraded to "-7.0 to -4.0 percent".
It is the third time for Singaporean government to downgrade the forecast range since this February.
On Feb. 17, MTI downgraded the GDP growth forecast for 2020 to "-0.5 to 1.5 percent" from the previous "0.5 to 2.5 percent" on account of the COVID-19 outbreak. On March 26, it revised the forecast downwards to "-4.0 to -1.0 percent", as the escalation of the COVID-19 outbreak worldwide had led to a significant deterioration in the external economic environment.
This time, the ministry said the disruptions to economic activity in major economies around the world had been more severe than expected since the last revision, and there remained significant uncertainties in the global economy.
It said that the outlook for the Singapore economy had weakened further since March. First, outward-oriented sectors, such as manufacturing, wholesale trade, and transportation and storage, will be adversely affected by the sharper-than-expected slowdown in many of Singapore's key markets, as well as more prolonged supply chain disruptions.
Second, the circuit breaker measures implemented by Singaporean government to curb the spread of COVID-19, which include the closure of most workplace premises, have further dampened domestic economic activity, along with domestic consumption.
Third, sectors like the construction sector and the marine and offshore engineering sector have been severely affected by manpower shortages due to the outbreak of infections among foreign workers, especially those living in foreign worker dormitories.
"Notwithstanding the downgrade, there continues to be a significant degree of uncertainty over the length and severity of the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as the trajectory of the economic recovery, in both the global and Singapore economies," the ministry added.