Singapore prepares for recession as virus-hit economy drops in first quarter

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Singapore’s economy contracted by 2.2% in the first quarter from a year earlier according to preliminary data released on Thursday. The decline went at the sharpest pace since the 2009 financial crisis which led the city-state to prepare for a recession.

The data will likely dull business outlook and pile on fears that a fast-declining economy on a global scale could be imminent in the first half of 2020. Singapore is the first to report quarterly growth data since the virus outbreak.  

On a quarterly basis, its gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 10.6% in contrast to expectations of 6.3%, according to a statement by the Ministry of Trade.

"The COVID-19 outbreak has escalated and led to a significant deterioration in the economic situation both externally and domestically," the trade ministry said in a statement.

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