Major Economic Indicators for Singapore

Singapore
IndicatorRelease dates
MAS Monetary Policy Statementtwice a year
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)quarterly
Consumer Price Indexat the end of each month
Unemployment Ratethe first Friday of each month
Industrial Production Indexat the end of each month
Name of Indicator
MAS Monetary Policy Statement
Release Date
twice a year
Characteristics of Indicators

Singapore adopts a currency basket based system. Even though policy interest rates are not set, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) takes measures to allow the Singapore dollar exchange rate to float within a bandwidth against a basket of currencies. It is very important to pay attention to the MAS Monetary Policy Statement.

The MAS Monetary Policy Statement is usually released in April and October to adjust its monetary policy. However, in January 2015, well ahead of the scheduled statement in April, an unexpected policy statement was announced to reduce the slope of policy band. Therefore, it is necessary to keep an eye on the MAS Monetary Policy Statement at anytime as there is the possibility that unscheduled policy statements can be released.

At this time, MAS announced that it will continue to stick to a semi-annual monetary policy cycle. However, in order to make adjustments to the monetary policy, MAS may also release off-cycle policy statements.

Name of Indicator
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
Release Date
quarterly
Characteristics of Indicators

Gross domestic product (GDP) is the sum of the gross value added of domestic production of goods and services within a specific period of time. It is considered as an important indicator of economic growth and production activity in long-term trends. The advanced GDP estimates, as well as the preliminary and final GDP estimates, are released at the end of the month after each quarter ends. It draws the attention of investors as it is the broadest indicator of economic activities and it measures the overall economic performance of the country.

Compared with the previous data, we examine whether there is an increase or decrease in the GDP growth rate to evaluate the economic performance of the country. Investors are more focused on advanced estimates and they examine the personal consumption expenditures, residential investment, fixed investment, inventory investment, and government consumption expenditures and gross investment. As it is a comprehensive indication of the overall growth rate of a country, it is very important for investors to pay attention to this economic indicator.

There are two measures of GDP: nominal gross domestic product (nominal GDP) and real gross domestic product (real GDP). The real GDP is different from the nominal GDP as it accounts for price changes due to inflation.

Name of Indicator
Consumer Price Index
Release Date
at the end of each month
Characteristics of Indicators

Consumer price index is an economic indicator that measures the changes in the retail prices of consumer goods and services actually purchased by consumers. It is released by the Singapore Department of Statistics. Since it is an important indicator that is closed correlated with the inflation rate, many countries, such as the United States, EU, Japan, China, Australia and emerging countries, pay special attention to this index in the market.

To put it simply, consumer price index indicates price inflation and deflation. If the consumer price index increased dramatically, it is most likely that interest rates will be raised in order to keep the rate of inflation low. As this economic indicator is closely related to the exchange rate volatility, it is necessary to look at the consumer price index while trading.

Name of Indicator
Unemployment Rate
Release Date
the first Friday of each month
Characteristics of Indicators

Unemployment rate is an indicator that shows the percentage of unemployed people in the labor force. The definition of “unemployed people” varies from one country to another. By looking at unemployment rate, one can keep track of the employment situation of the country. It is thus the most important economic indicator that draws the attention of investors. To rank the developed countries in the order of unemployment rate, it is as follows: EU, United States and Japan. Similar to inflation rates, unemployment rate is closely correlated with people’s daily life. It is thus sometimes used for political purposes.

While examining the unemployment rate, there are three statistics that an investor needs to pay attention to: the statistics of the previous month, market forecast prior to the release of unemployment rate, and officially released unemployment rate. Especially, one should look at the market forecast and officially released unemployment rate. If there is a big difference between the released unemployment rate and the market forecast, it is very likely that large movements in the market will occur.

This data is also an important indicator of the performance of a company and sometimes it can influence the monetary policy. In particular, during economic downturns, monetary easing is likely to be carried out immediately after the release of unemployment rate.

Name of Indicator
Industrial Production Index
Release Date
at the end of each month
Characteristics of Indicators

Industrial production index is an economic indicator that measures the production activities of public utilities industries, such as, mining, manufacturing, electricity and gas. The index is released on a monthly basis by the Singapore Economic Development Board.

In countries, such as Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, manufacturing sector represents a large portion of GDP. Therefore, industrial production index is usually considered as one of the most important indicators to evaluate the economic performance.

While examining the industrial production index, it is usually compared with the data released in the previous month and the corresponding month of the previous year. When compared to the previous statistics, we thus can know the current situation in the manufacturing industry. As this economic indicator is related to the state of the economy, investors consider it as an essential factor to analyze the economic performance.

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