Singapore’s economy was headed for a recession in 2020 before the COVID-19 virus outbreak in end 2019. Singapore’s economic depression since 2010 was anticipated to end up in a recession this year in 2020.
The COVID-19 contagion that spread beyond the shore of mainland China as a disease merely hastened the coming of a recession in Singapore. The COVID-19 contagion, if it is not well contained, may become a pandemic and may result in a global recession. In Singapore, a Recession in 2020 was imminent with or without COVID-19 disease spreading outside of China.
Singapore’s economic depression over the past decade is a symptom not the disease. More importantly, Singaporeans must be wide eye to know that the recession in 2020 is not caused by the COVID-19 disease. The COVID-19 disease merely hastened the coming of a recession in Singapore. If and when the COVID-19 disease become pandemic and caused a global recession, Singapore’s recession in 2020 will become more severe.
In Singapore, if the extraneous noise such as the Trade War between US-China and COVID-19 outbreak were switched off, what were the fundamental factors and internal policies that caused the depression over the past decade that results in a recession in 2020?
The leadership and Singaporeans at large need to find out the causes of our decade long economic depression that is most likely to culminate into a recession in 2020, else we will end up like a frog in a pot of water slowly being boiled to death. Pump priming the economy may help to defer a recession. Bringing forward infrastructure projects and upgrading of existing infrastructure indeed may defer a recession.
While stimulating domestic consumption and reducing savings may help in the short run to shore up the aggregate demand in the GDP components of growth. In the long run a fundamental rethink and systemic shift in system and policies may be necessary. In the long run we need to stay relevant and to re-balance our political and economic policies.
We need to read and position ourselves to the evolving disruptive change in the new world order and new center of gravity of socio-economic and political power bases in the world and to integrate ourselves much more with regional economies more effectively. Centrality and progressive stance and dealings will be the order of the day if we were to navigate the unprecedented disruptive changes around us.