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Singapore 2Q GDP contraction bad omen for Asia

Singapore’s trade-dependent economy shrank 1.1 percent in the second quarter on an annualised and seasonally adjusted basis, reversing a strong January-March performance in another sign that weakness in Western countries has begun to affect Asia.

The wealthy Southeast Asian city-state, a major financial and business centre whose trade is more than three times its gross domestic product, is regarded as a leading indicator for Asia because of its open economy.

The surprise contraction in Singapore’s GDP prompted at least three banks to cut their full-year forecast and signalled the central bank may ease monetary policy when it issues its next half yearly policy statement in October.