Did the Singapore economy shrink or grow?

I got a shock when I saw this at marketwatch.com: Singapore economy shrinks 7.8%, more than expected
So I checked one of our local news website channelnewsasia.com to find this: Singapore's GDP grows 0.5% in Q2

So, which is right?

They are both right!

The 7.8% shrinkage is in comparison with the previous quarter, 2011 Q1 (where growth was 27.2%).
The 0.5% growth is in comparison with last year 2010 Q2.

Foreign website will highlight the bad news to make it sensational enough to catch people’s attention. It certainly caught mine.

Singapore website will highlight the good news because we want to maintain positive sentiments about the state of the economy.

I think a 7.8% shrinkage in Q2 is no big deal because there was growth of 27.2% in Q1. The net effect is still growth over the first half of 2011.

Todayonline published different statistics. I don't know which is right.

Ministry of trade and industry press release

Lies, damned lies, and statistics.

I disagree with using GDP as the sole measure of the state of the economy.
My previous post: Economic numbers do not measure prosperity

"Lies, damned lies, and statistics" is a phrase describing the persuasive power of numbers, particularly the use of statistics to bolster weak arguments, and the tendency of people to disparage statistics that do not support their positions. It is also sometimes colloquially used to doubt statistics used to prove an opponent's point.


David said...


I agree with your analysis.

GDP numbers can be manipulated like any number. Cooking the data is another overused, yet accurate cliche.

This comment in Business.AsiaOne's site sums up SG situation quite well -""The Japan twin disasters disrupted the global supply chain - of which Singapore is a part - in April and May," said Song Seng Wun, a Singapore-based regional economist with financial group CIMB.

On a personal note we just reveiwed our retirement portfolios with our financial advisor and two packages grew by 18%, mine, and 24%, my wifes.

My wife being younger has a more agressivley balanced portfolio, my portforlio is less agressive.

We were pleased with this quarters results.

Stay tuned America's President still has to deal with the United States spending limit.


Anonymous said...

The Con-you style statistics is like this :-

If industrial production is 15% above the previous quarter, it will be published as "The economy expanded by 15%"!

Haven't we heard that SG economy grew by 70% since the two casinos started operation!

according to Wikipedia, SG per capita GDP is around $US 55K, that is even higher than USA. Hey , Singaporeans are richer than Americans.

But SG's government public debt level is over 100% of GDP too, as bad as the USA!

Something doesn't gel here, Con-You!