Chun Sing: Govt keeping close watch on economy

The Government is watching the economic numbers very closely, labour chief Chan Chun Sing said.
The Government is watching the economic numbers very closely, labour chief Chan Chun Sing said. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

The Government is watching the economic numbers very closely, labour chief Chan Chun Sing said yesterday, amid concerns that the slowing economy might slip into a technical recession.

"It's still early days," he told reporters, a day after preliminary government figures showed that non-oil exports sank 12 per cent last month over a year earlier, the second decline in as many months.

The latest numbers raise the odds of a technical recession, which is defined as two consecutive quarters of decline in economic output.

"We have gone in to help groups of workers affected," he added. "If we need to do more, we will do more in the coming months."

Mr Chan, who is Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, also said that while some sectors may be down, others are doing better, such as e-commerce, education and health.

The Committee on the Future Economy will release its report early next year, he added, saying it will outline how small and medium-sized businesses will be helped to stay ahead and grow in the years to come.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 19, 2016, with the headline 'Chun Sing: Govt keeping close watch on economy'. Print Edition | Subscribe