Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Singapore says global recession more likely than not

SINGAPORE - A global recession is "more likely than not" as the US and European economies are at "stall" speed, Singapore's finance minister said on Tuesday.

Tharman Shanmugaratnam told a conference that the world has now "entered a phase where there is a self reinforcing cycle" of a loss of consumer confidence, which is leading companies to hold back on investing.

"Asia will not be immune to a global slowdown," Tharman said. The Singapore economy is highly reliant on international trade.

His comments came a few days after the US employment report for August showed no growth in jobs and the unemployment rate remained at 9.1 per cent, deepening concerns that the world's biggest economy may be tilting toward another recession.

In the latest sign that the economic slowdown may hurt Asia, the Singapore Institute of Purchasing & Materials Management said on Monday that the manufacturing sector shrank for the second consecutive month in August as companies received fewer orders and kept less inventory.

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