Economics News by JC Economics Tutor Anthony Fok
Topic: Recession in Singapore

The Covid-19 shock has affected Singapore’s domestic-oriented industries more severely than in past recessions, so economic recovery will likely take longer, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said on Wednesday (Oct 28).

MAS said the pace of recovery is expected to moderate in the quarters ahead, as firms and households continue to be restrained by income loss and increased uncertainty, in turn holding back on investment and discretionary spending.

Downside risks to the growth outlook could also materialise if a resurgence in worldwide Covid-19 infections prompts more shutdowns and results in weaker-than-expected external demand, or if domestic labour market conditions deteriorate further and hamper a decisive pickup in consumer demand.

MAS reiterated the Government’s forecast for the economy to shrink by a record 5 per cent to 7 per cent this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. It said the economy will post above-trend growth for 2021 due to the effects of the low base in 2020.

“The path ahead remains clouded with uncertainty,” MAS warned in its twice-yearly macroeconomic review released on Wednesday.

“Some pockets of the economy, particularly the travel-related and some contact-intensive domestic services, are not expected to recover to pre-pandemic levels even by the end of next year.”

The Singapore economy registered its worst performance ever in the second quarter because of the circuit breaker measures, before experiencing a growth rebound in the July to September period when most of the movement curbs were relaxed.

The nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) contracted in the second quarter by 13.2 per cent on a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted basis. The rebound in the third quarter saw the economy expanding by 7.9 per cent on the same measure.

While some of the sectors, mainly export-driven manufacturing, have since seen a pickup as the economy reopened, overall output is still some 7 per cent below pre-Covid-19 levels, MAS noted.

The rebound in the third quarter was also aided by the Government’s budgetary support measures. The impetus from fiscal support is likely to abate in the fourth quarter even as some measures such as the Jobs Support Scheme may persist.

MAS said that unlike the global financial crisis of 2008 when the resident unemployment rate returned to pre-crisis levels after six quarters, the recovery in employment is likely to be uneven and slow.

The central bank also said that the Covid-19 recession has been unprecedented in its intensity, having resulted in a cumulative 14 per cent decline in GDP from pre-crisis levels in the fourth quarter of 2019 to the trough in the second quarter of 2020. This compares with an average contraction of 6.1 per cent across the previous recessions.

Explaining why the recovery would take longer, MAS said the Covid-19 shock has disproportionately affected domestic-oriented and travel-related services in Singapore – such as food and beverage, retail, construction and aviation and hospitality – unlike previous recessions that were typically driven by the external-oriented manufacturing sector. These sectors have stronger interlinkages with firms and households within the domestic economy, thus amplifying the negative shock.

“Although the domestic-oriented sectors account for a smaller share of GDP compared to the external-oriented sectors, they generate significant indirect effects or negative spillovers on the economy through the production and consumption channels,” MAS said.

The loss in final demand in the worst-hit sectors generates ripple effects through supply chains, affecting other firms in the same or different industries. The drop in final demand also prompts companies in the worst-hit sectors to make a proportional cut in wages for their employees, thus weakening household consumption.

Thus, MAS said: “In all likelihood, the recovery will be more protracted than those in the past.”

For the global economy, the central bank expects the near-term rebound – supported by unprecedented fiscal and monetary policies – to fade into an incomplete recovery.

Questions for discussion during economics tuition classes:

  1. Explain the causes of recession in Singapore.
  2. Discuss the policies available to solve the recession problem in Singapore.


Economics News by Econs Tutor Anthony Fok
Topic: Investments

Singapore firms expect business conditions to worsen from October till next March, though the gap between pessimists and optimists has been closing, according to official quarterly surveys on Friday. The difference was clearest in the services sector, where a net-weighted balance of 5 per cent of firms expect worse conditions – an improvement from 31 per cent in the previous quarterly survey, which covered expectations for July till December 2020. In manufacturing, a net-weighted balance of 3 per cent expect the operating environment to worsen in the next six months compared to the third quarter of 2020, improving from 7 per cent in the previous quarterly survey. This was with a weighted 18 per cent of firms seeing a better business outlook, while a weighted 21 per cent expect a worse one, according to the Singapore Economic Development Board.

Question for discussion during JC 2 economics tuition classes:

  1. Explain the various factors influencing level of investments in Singapore

Economics News by Econs Tutor Anthony Fok
Topic: Unemployment

Singapore’s total employment contracted at a slower pace in the third quarter of 2020, with resident employment rebounding to near pre-pandemic levels, according to preliminary estimates from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). Total employment, excluding foreign domestic workers, shrank by 26,900 in Q3, slowing down from the 103,800 seen in the previous quarter. The ministry attributed the decline to the continued contraction in non-resident employment. Retrenchments continued to rise and have exceeded the peak of previous recessions with the exception of the 2009 global financial crisis, which saw 12,760 layoffs. In Q3, there were 9,100 retrenchments, compared with 8,130 in Q2. On the whole, unemployment rates continued to rise. Overall unemployment rate rose to 3.6 per cent in September compared to 3.4 per cent in August; resident unemployment rate inched up to 4.7 per cent from 4.6 per cent and citizen unemployment rate went up to 4.9 per cent from 4.7 per cent over the same period.

During a media briefing, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said the growth in resident employment is partly attributed to the resumption of activities as Singapore began its phased reopening, following its partial economic shutdown during the “circuit-breaker” period in April and May.

“Some positions had gotten vacated in the second quarter, and so in the third quarter, since business activities have resumed, so there is a little bit more backfilling of those positions,” Mrs Teo said.

In addition, employers and workers have been very invested in collective efforts to save jobs, such as through wage cuts and retraining programmes, she said. However, Mrs Teo said it would not be wise to assume that the rebound in resident employment levels can be sustained without effort. While the fourth quarter of the year typically sees an uplift in past years, this is due to increased seasonal spending, travel and tourism, which are subdued this year, she said, as consumer sentiment turns cautious and borders remain largely closed. She added that many countries are now fighting a second or even third wave of infections, so one should not assume the path ahead to be easy.

“We have a little bit of a reprieve now – the third quarter is, to me, a source of relief. But it simply means we’ve gotten ourselves to a level where the ship is more stabilised but we need to put in the effort to keep it sailing,” she said.

Questions for discussion during economics tuition classes:

  1. Explain the various causes of unemployment in Singapore.
  2. Discuss the policies available to solve the unemployment problem in Singapore.


With so many economics tuition around Singapore, choosing the right economics tuition for yourself is a difficult task. There are many conditions for you to consider before picking an economics tuition to give you the right guidance. Here are some factors that makes JC Economics one of the best choices for you:

1. Location

It is important for the tuition centre to be close to your home or to your school. This is to ensure that you will not be tired out from the endless travelling and your precious time would not be wasted on long journeys. JC Economics tuition centre is located at 3 areas: Bukit Timah, Tampines and Kovan. With 3 locations to choose from, you can pick the location closest to your home or school easily.

2. The Economics Super Tutor

JC Economics tuition lessons are personally taught by the founder and principal tutor Mr Anthony Fok. With a passion for economics and experience as a former Ministry of Education teacher, he dedicates himself to sharing his economics knowledge to his students. He makes sure that every economics lesson is up to the best standard as he strives to deliver quality economics lessons to his students.

3. Teaching Methods

At JC Economics tuition, economics concepts are taught in an effective and concise way. These concepts will then be applied to questions. Many economics examination questions will be gone through in an elaborate manner on how to identify question types, how to analyse the question on hand and what are the question requirements. Answering strategies and techniques will be demonstrated to students, and students will be given opportunities to apply these skills during in class work.

Aside from that, Mr Anthony Fok enjoys sharing his personal experiences to his students to link the economics concepts to the real-world situations. He believes that using his own accounts will not only make the lesson interesting but also aids in helping students remember the economics concepts better.

4. Personalised Interaction

Every student has different needs and pace in learning economics. Mr Anthony Fok gives his mobile number to his students so that they can ask him any economics questions anytime when they need any clarifications or help. He is happy to help as he sees the efforts that his students put in to discover more about economics and to develop their skills in the subject. He is also open to giving feedbacks on students’ own work as he feels that students will be able to learn and improve on their answers more through his comments.

5. Testimonials and Achievements

Many former students taught by tutor Mr Anthony Fok have improved substantially and achieved outstanding economics results for their A-Level examinations. Furthermore, he has appeared in numerous news articles and other media outlets such as Channel 8 and Channel 5 featuring him as a “super tutor”. These are a sure testament of the results of his teaching style.

Join us at jceconomics.com if it is the right economics tuition for you!

Open chat
WhatsApp Us