Singapore’s economy shrank 5.8% yoy in Q3 2020, compared with a preliminary estimate of a 7% fall and a revised 13.3% plunge in Q2, while markets had expected a 5.4% drop. The improvement came on the back of the phased resumption of activities after the Circuit Breaker that was implemented from 7 April to 1 June. Construction output fell at a softer rate (-46.6% vs -60% in Q2), amid declines in both public sector and private sector construction works. Also, the service sector shrank less (-8.4% vs -13.4%), with transport, wholesale & retail trade, and food services contracting at slower paces.

Meantime, the manufacturing sector grew 10%, a reversal from a 0.8% drop in Q2, due to output growth in the electronics, and biomedical. On a quarterly basis, the economy grew 9.2%, the most on record, after a 13.2% slump in Q2. The government now expects the economy to shrink by 6.5 to 6.0% in 2020, versus the prior estimate of -7 to -5%. The economy is expected to grow 4% to 6% next year.