Inflation reduces wage growth

For the quarter ended 31 March 2008, nominal wages in Singapore rose 10.6% for all sectors of the economy when compared with the same quarter in 2007. When this was adjusted for inflation which was at 6.6% for the same quarter, real earnings rose only 3.6%.


For some economic sectors, real earnings growths were negative when inflation was taken into consideration. These included manufacturing (-2.2%), transport & storage (-1.9%), administrative & support services (-2.7%).   


The sectors with positive real earnings growth were construction (+3.7%), wholesale & retail trade (+0.2%), hotels & restaurants (+1.3%), financial services (+2.1%), real estate & leasing services (+7.2%).


(Source: CPF Board as reported in The Straits Times, 17 June 2008)


This is the case for people who are still on the jobs. For those who are not employed, there are no wages to talk about. The unemployment rate was 2% in March 2008 when compared with 1.7% in December 2007, a marginal increase. Among residents, the unemployment rate was 2.9% in March 2008 up from 2.4%. This unemployment rate is still low by world standard and hopefully, there is no major shock to our economy till the end of 2008.


The slow economic growth and high oil and food prices facing the world are certainly hurting the pockets of Singaporeans. There will be cut-back in discretionary consumption expenditure in order to ride through this uncertain time. This will also slow economic growth for Singapore.


Written on 6/17/2008 10:03 AM


Copyright © 2008, the author known as LKT in Singapore.


The material presented is intended to be general and written in layman’s language as much as it is possible. The author shall not be liable for any direct or consequential loss arising from any use of material written. Please seek professional advice from your financial advisor or financial institutions on material written covering financial matters.

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