Virus-hit Singapore plunges into recession as economy shrinks 41%

A general view shows the financial business district in Singapore on May 26, 2020. – Singapore’s economy, a bellwether for global trade, could shrink by as much as 7.0 percent this year, the worst since independence, as the coronavirus pandemic throttles demand, the government said on May 26. (Photo by Roslan RAHMAN / AFP)

SINGAPORESingapore (AFP) — Singapore plunged into recession in the second quarter as growth fell 41.2 percent quarter-on-quarter with the trade-dependent economy hammered by the coronavirus, preliminary data showed Tuesday.

Year-on-year, the economy shrank 12.6 percent between April and June, according to the data from the trade ministry, as strict curbs were imposed to fight the virus.

It marks the second consecutive quarter of contraction, meaning that the city state — which has one of the world’s most open economies — has entered a recession for the first time in more than a decade.

The massive second-quarter drop in GDP was due to “measures that were implemented from 7 April to 1 June to slow the spread of COVID-19, which included the suspension of non-essential services and closure of most workplace premises,” the ministry said in a statement.

People, wearing face masks as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, cross a road along the Orchard Road shopping belt in Singapore on May 6, 2020. (Photo by Roslan RAHMAN / AFP)

It also attributed to the contraction to “weak external demand amidst a global economic downturn”.

Tiny Singapore, viewed as a barometer for the health of global trade, is highly sensitive to external shocks, and the gloomy figures are another ominous sign for the global economy.