Singapore lockdown to cost $7 billion in lost output

Singapore’s partial lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus could cost the economy about ten billion Singapore dollars ($7 billion) in lost output, Maybank Kim Eng Research Pte. estimates.

That equates to about two per cent of gross domestic product, Chua Hak Bin, a senior economist at Maybank in Singapore, told Bloomberg News.

Singapore has banned social gatherings and shut workplaces, except for essential services and key economic sectors, as part of measures to contain virus infections. The restrictions took effect this week and will last through May 4.

Non-essential services make up about a third of total employment, slightly more than their 30 per cent share of GDP, Chua said, with sectors such as retail, food and beverage and construction being more labor-intensive than “essential” businesses such as financial services or electronics manufacturing.

On Wednesday, a day after the partial lockdown began, the city state reported its highest daily increase in virus cases of 142, bringing the country’s total to 1,623. There’s been a spike in cases at tightly packed dormitories housing thousands of low-wage foreign workers, prompting the government to impose quarantine measures to contain the outbreak.

Crisis to last for “a very long time”

Meanwhile, Singapore’s minister for home and legal affairs Kasiviswanathan Shanmugam said that the overall economic costs and consequences of the coronavirus pandemic are going to be huge and the fight will last for a “very long time.”

He said it was a crisis encompassing several generations and its consequences were “likely to be far more serious” than past financial crises.

“You’re looking at economic devastation. Businesses destroyed, people’s lives ruined, and in such a situation, you don’t talk contract. You talk equity, you talk justice, you talk about what is the right thing to do,” he told CNBC.

Singapore’s parliament just passed a new bill that provides temporary relief to businesses and individuals if they are unable to fulfill their contractual obligations due to the coronavirus outbreak such as paying rent. They would be shielded from legal action for six months.

Singapore’s partial lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus could cost the economy about ten billion Singapore dollars ($7 billion) in lost output, Maybank Kim Eng Research Pte. estimates. That equates to about two per cent of gross domestic product, Chua Hak Bin, a senior economist at Maybank in Singapore, told Bloomberg News. Singapore has banned social gatherings and shut workplaces, except for essential services and key economic sectors, as part of measures to contain virus infections. The restrictions took effect this week and will last through May 4. Non-essential services make up about a third of total employment,...

Singapore’s partial lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus could cost the economy about ten billion Singapore dollars ($7 billion) in lost output, Maybank Kim Eng Research Pte. estimates.

That equates to about two per cent of gross domestic product, Chua Hak Bin, a senior economist at Maybank in Singapore, told Bloomberg News.

Singapore has banned social gatherings and shut workplaces, except for essential services and key economic sectors, as part of measures to contain virus infections. The restrictions took effect this week and will last through May 4.

Non-essential services make up about a third of total employment, slightly more than their 30 per cent share of GDP, Chua said, with sectors such as retail, food and beverage and construction being more labor-intensive than “essential” businesses such as financial services or electronics manufacturing.

On Wednesday, a day after the partial lockdown began, the city state reported its highest daily increase in virus cases of 142, bringing the country’s total to 1,623. There’s been a spike in cases at tightly packed dormitories housing thousands of low-wage foreign workers, prompting the government to impose quarantine measures to contain the outbreak.

Crisis to last for “a very long time”

Meanwhile, Singapore’s minister for home and legal affairs Kasiviswanathan Shanmugam said that the overall economic costs and consequences of the coronavirus pandemic are going to be huge and the fight will last for a “very long time.”

He said it was a crisis encompassing several generations and its consequences were “likely to be far more serious” than past financial crises.

“You’re looking at economic devastation. Businesses destroyed, people’s lives ruined, and in such a situation, you don’t talk contract. You talk equity, you talk justice, you talk about what is the right thing to do,” he told CNBC.

Singapore’s parliament just passed a new bill that provides temporary relief to businesses and individuals if they are unable to fulfill their contractual obligations due to the coronavirus outbreak such as paying rent. They would be shielded from legal action for six months.

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