The COVID-19 pandemic and consequential measures taken to contain the pandemic, including lockdowns and travel restrictions, have adversely affected economic activity globally.
In Singapore, the Circuit Breaker measures, which were necessary to stem the community spread of COVID-19 and save lives, had a negative impact on the economy. In particular, the closure of most physical workplace premises from 7 April to 1 June, which had affected businesses that could not operate remotely from home, is estimated to have reduced Singapore’s annual real GDP by 2.2 per cent.
The Government has introduced four Budgets this year to fight COVID-19, with a total commitment of $93 billion in economic and social support and public health management measures. The Budget measures are expected to cushion the fall in employment and economic output arising from COVID-19. Specifically, the four Budgets are estimated to avert a loss in real GDP of about 5.5 per cent in 2020, and reduce the rise in resident unemployment rate by 1.7 percentage-points.
Overall, the four Budgets have supported economic livelihoods and prevented an even more significant disruption to income and cash flows. They also contribute to the longer-term objective of helping viable firms stay afloat and facilitating a quicker recovery. In addition to the economic benefits, there will also be positive externalities from the public health management measures that have been put in place to safeguard Singapore from COVID-19.
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