Manu writes regularly for The Edge Singapore where these blogs first appeared.
The unveiling of the Budget for 2018 has triggered a healthy debate on how the likely pressures for more government social spending in Singapore should be funded. The government has proposed a two-percentage point rise in the goods and services tax (GST) sometime after 2021, believing that this would be the best option out of the alternatives available.
Sharp corrections in the prices of equities, bonds and commodities dominated the headlines recently as the exuberance of financial markets in the past few months gave way to volatility and uncertainty. Some argue that this is just one of those healthy market corrections which eventually pave the way for another round of upward moves.
US President Trump used his State of the Union speech to reiterate his hard-line views on trade, vowing that the “era of economic surrender is over” and that his administration would “fix bad trade deals”. Only days before the speech, his administration had imposed tariffs on solar panels and washing machines which directly hurt Chinese and South Korean…
Even as equity markets across the world soar to new heights, the bond market has been sending a less exuberant signal. Yields on US 10-year treasuries, a major benchmark rate used in financial markets, have risen to just above 2.5%, almost twice the yield when they reached a trough in the middle of 2016.
The past 12 months have been mostly kind to Singapore. The economy has regained some traction, and that has lifted the mood somewhat. Looking forward, we can say two things. First, the economic prospects in 2018 appear encouraging: next year may well be even rosier than this year’s better than expected outcome.