Singapore said it will spend S$9 billion ($7 billion) on health care and other benefits for the elderly, while providing companies with more funds to increase efficiency as the economy adjusts to a tighter labor supply.
Singapore’s growth will weaken further this year after slowing in 2011, constrained by a “difficult” global environment and government efforts to cut foreign-worker inflow, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said.
In the global economy this week, data will probably show U.S. manufacturers are expanding at a faster rate than their counterparts in China and Europe. Growth at American producers held close to the highest level since early 2011. Elsewhere, Brazil may post its smallest annual trade balance in more than a decade. And price pressures are starting to build in parts of Asia as economies strengthen.
When dozens of Chinese bus drivers held Singapore’s first strike in 26 years last week, the island deported the perpetrators. Getting rid of the soaring prices that are emboldening calls for higher wages won’t be as easy.