Singapore PM: Economy Is Visibly Slowing Down

Singapore's economy is visibly slowing down and will continue to do so into the first half of 2012, as global economic conditions get tough, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Wednesday.

"We are now in a period where incomes will be under pressure at the low-end. I think even in the middle, white-collar workers will also be coming under pressure," Lee told CNBC.

On a quarter-on-quarter annualized basis, Singapore's economy grew 1.3 percent over July-September, after contracting 6.3 percent in the previous quarter, according Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Annual growth is expected to slow to around 5 percent in 2011, after a record 14.5 percent rise in 2010, the Monetary Authority of Singapore said late October.

"There will be uncertainties because the (economic) cycles are shorter, things go up, things go down," PM Lee said.

For the economy to continue to grow at a strong pace, Lee said Singapore needs "more workers, more skills, more talent."

Foreigners account for nearly one-third of the country's 5.18 million population, according to the Department of Statistics' latest data.

"The more you tighten the inflow, the slower growth is going to be and that's something Singaporeans will have to understand," he added.


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