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Singapore Economy

    Economy—overview: Singapore has an open economy with strong service and manufacturing sectors and excellent international trading links derived from its entrepot history. Extraordinarily strong fundamentals allowed Singapore to weather the effects of the Asian financial crisis better than its neighbors, but the crisis did pull GDP growth down to 1.3% in 1998 from 6% in 1997. Projections for 1999 GDP growth are in the -1% to 1% range. Rising labor costs and appreciation of the Singapore dollar against its neighbors' currencies continue to be a threat to Singapore's competitiveness. The government's strategy to address this problem includes cutting costs, increasing productivity, improving infrastructure, and encouraging higher value-added industries. In applied technology, per capita output, investment, and labor discipline, Singapore has key attributes of a developed country.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$91.7 billion (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: 1.3% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$26,300 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: NEGL%
    industry: 28%
    services: 72%

    Population below poverty line: NA%

    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): -0.5% (1998 est.)

    Labor force: 1.856 million (1997 est.)

    Labor force—by occupation: financial, business, and other services 33.5%, manufacturing 25.6%, commerce 22.9%, construction 6.6%, other 11.4% (1994)

    Unemployment rate: 5% (1999 est.)

    Budget:
    revenues: $16.3 billion
    expenditures: $13.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY97/98 est.)

    Industries: electronics, financial services, oil drilling equipment, petroleum refining, rubber processing and rubber products, processed food and beverages, ship repair, entrepot trade, biotechnology

    Industrial production growth rate: 3% (1998 est.)

    Electricity—production: 28 billion kWh (1998)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 100%
    hydro: 0%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0% (1996)

    Electricity—consumption: 28 billion kWh (1998)

    Electricity—exports: 0 kWh (1998)

    Electricity—imports: 0 kWh (1998)

    Agriculture—products: rubber, copra, fruit, vegetables; poultry

    Exports: $128 billion (1998 est.)

    Exports—commodities: computer equipment, rubber and rubber products, petroleum products, telecommunications equipment

    Exports—partners: Malaysia 19%, US 18%, Hong Kong 9%, Japan 8%, Thailand 6% (1995)

    Imports: $133.9 billion (1997 est.)

    Imports—commodities: aircraft, petroleum, chemicals, foodstuffs

    Imports—partners: Japan 21%, Malaysia 15%, US 15%, Thailand 5%, Taiwan 4%, South Korea 4% (1995)

    Debt—external: $NA

    Economic aid—recipient: $NA

    Currency: 1 Singapore dollar (S$) = 100 cents

    Exchange rates: Singapore dollars (S$) per US$1—1.6781 (January 1999), 1.6736 (1998), 1.4848 (1997), 1.4100 (1996), 1.4174 (1995), 1.5274 (1994)

    Fiscal year: 1 April—31 March

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)