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  1. steveluv

    Sgp enters worst recession in 55 yrs

    https://asia.nikkei.com/Economy/Singapore-narrows-2020-GDP-forecast-to-5-to-7-as-outlook-dims?utm_campaign=RN Subscriber newsletter&utm_medium=daily newsletter&utm_source=NAR Newsletter&utm_content=article link&del_type=1&pub_date=20200811190000&seq_num=7&si=44594 Singapore narrows 2020 GDP forecast to -5% to -7% as outlook dims PM Lee warns of more economic pain, with COVID crisis 'far from over' The coronavirus has Singapore headed for its worst economic performance in its 55-year history. © Reuters KENTARO IWAMOTO, Nikkei staff writerAugust 11, 2020 09:02 JSTUpdated on August 11, 2020 12:11 JST SINGAPORE -- Singapore on Tuesday revised this year's economic growth projection to a range of -5% to -7%, from the previous -4% to -7%, underscoring the prolonged impact of COVID-19 on the city-state's businesses. Gross domestic product for the April-June quarter -- during which the country was under heightened restrictions -- shrank 13.2% on the year, the government said the same day, worse than the preliminary showing of -12.6%. As the initial data already showed, the country has slipped into a technical recession. "The outlook for the Singapore economy has weakened slightly since May," when the government made the previous forecast, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said in a statement. "The subdued external economic environment will continue to pose a drag on several of Singapore's outward-oriented sectors such as transportation and storage and wholesale trade." The revised full-year range of -5% to -7% means Singapore is headed for its worst performance in its 55 years of history. As of Sunday, the country had confirmed about 55,000 coronavirus infections -- over 90% of them in dormitories for migrant workers -- with 27 deaths. Singapore started easing its movement restrictions in early June and has set up "travel corridor" arrangements with two key economic partners, China and Malaysia. But some businesses have yet to reopen and cross-border travel remains severely constrained. "The reopening of international borders is expected to take place more gradually than earlier anticipated," the ministry added. "This is likely to weigh on the outlook of sectors that are reliant on tourism and air travel." As the outlook remains uncertain, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong advised citizens to brace for a long struggle in his 55th National Day speech on Sunday. "The crisis is far from over," he said. "Business closures, retrenchments and unemployment are all likely to go up in the coming months." The latest key economic indicators have raised red flags: The unemployment rate rose to 2.9% in June, from 2.4% in March, while manufacturing output dropped for the second straight month, down 6.7% from a year earlier. Retail sales fell 27.8% on the year in June. At a news conference after Tuesday's GDP announcement, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing stressed the government's commitment to supporting the economy and jobs, noting that the second-quarter contraction was the worst on record. "All our government agencies will work together to make sure ... we provide the best conditions possible for our companies to do business and remain connected with the world," he said. "We will strengthen our efforts to help match jobs with our people and to train them to acquire those jobs with new skills." In the coming weeks, he added, the government will lay out plans to shore up specific industries. "We must chart new directions now for a very different and uncertain future," Chan said. The government has already introduced relief packages worth more than 90 billion Singapore dollars ($65 billion), or nearly 20% of GDP, to cushion the pain. The central bank also eased monetary policy in March to boost the economy; the next policy meeting is scheduled for October. Other Southeast Asian countries suffered steep GDP declines in the second quarter, too. The Philippines' economy shrank 16.5% on the year, while Indonesia reported a 5.3% contraction, the first since 1999 when the country was reeling from the Asian financial crisis. Malaysia is due to announce its GDP this Friday, with Thailand following next week.
  2. https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/wuhan-virus-likely-to-have-much-wider-and-deeper-impact Wuhan virus likely to have 'much wider and deeper impact' China's economy and its trade with Singapore and the rest of the world have grown enormously since the Sars outbreak in 2003: Chan Chun Sing THE Wuhan virus outbreak is likely to have a much wider and deeper impact on the world economy than the severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) episode of 2003, and Singaporeans need to be mentally prepared for this, said Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing on Sunday. Mr Chan was speaking to reporters during his visit to Oasia Hotel Downtown, where a 73-year-old Chinese national had stayed before testing positive for the coronavirus. He said: "I've heard a lot of people comparing this episode with the Sars episode many years ago in 2003. I think we shouldn't do that kind of direct comparison... Comparing 2003 to now, China's GDP (gross domestic product) has gone up by about four times. Our trade with China has also increased by nearly four times." China's GDP as a proportion of the entire world's GDP has more than doubled since 2003, from 9 per cent then to more than 19 per cent today. Mr Chan added: "The impact of any disruption to the Chinese economy and the supply chains is likely to be a much wider, much deeper impact because of the interlinkages with the global economy, and certainly with the Singapore economy." It is too early to say exactly how big the impact will be. But as the rest of the world progressively tightens their border controls, there will be "serious implications" on tourism and other industries, including manufacturing, Mr Chan said. On Friday, Singapore announced that it will bar anyone with a Chinese passport from entering the country, with exceptions made for Singapore permanent residents, those on long-term passes, and those who can show they have not been to China recently. Other visitors who have been to mainland China within the past 14 days will also be denied entry. In the 13 hours since these travel restrictions kicked in with effect from 11.59pm on Saturday, 15 travellers have been refused entry to Singapore. The bans do not affect existing work pass holders, although about 30,000 work pass holders who are of Chinese nationality left Singapore over the Chinese New Year break and have not returned, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said on Sunday. These work visa holders, who would be required to go on a 14-day leave of absence when they return to Singapore, make up less than 1 per cent of the work force here, she said. Chinese tourists account for around 20 per cent of Singapore's total international visitor arrivals, with about 3.6 million visitors to Singapore in 2019. To dampen the punch for tourism businesses, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) announced on Sunday that it will waive licence fees for hotels, travel agents and tourist guides. It will also defray enhanced cleaning costs of hotels that provided accommodation to confirmed and suspected cases of Wuhan virus infections. Mr Chan promised that the measures taken by STB to support affected businesses will be followed by a wider relief package that will be unveiled in the Budget speech on Feb 18. For example, some tour agents and F&B businesses have been very badly hit because 80 to 90 per cent of their business comes from the Chinese market, Mr Chan noted. "Even beyond the tourism related industries, what people are most concerned with is cash flow," Mr Chan said, noting that the ability of businesses to support jobs depends on their survival. "Companies have also asked if we can help them with temporary bridging loans. This is something that we are studying to see how to help them with their cash flow." The Ministry is also studying how it can help defray costs for the aviation sector while maintaining air connectivity between Singapore and China, he said. Mr Chan added: "For the taxi industry and the private hire industry, we will be looking into measures to see how we can help the drivers alleviate some of the temporary cash flow issues that they have at this point in time." He reassured Singaporean businesses and Singaporean workers that "we stand together with them", adding: "We do have the means to help them tide over this difficult moment, but we must do this with a long-term perspective. We must make sure that whatever we do is sustainable because we are not sure how long this crisis will last. "We must be mentally prepared, psychologically prepared that the impact of this, compared to Sars could be wider, deeper and longer."
  3. Turbobrick

    Calculating fuel economy

    I take the trip meter km reading and divide by the filled up litres at the pump, getting km/l. I then compute the monthly average to judge economy vs driving trend. Anyone else with other methods?
  4. https://asia.nikkei.com/Economy/China-GDP-grows-6.1-in-2019-slowest-rate-in-29-years?utm_campaign=RN%20Subscriber%20newsletter&utm_medium=daily%20newsletter&utm_source=NAR%20Newsletter&utm_content=article%20link&del_type=1&pub_date=20200117190000&seq_num=7&si=%%user_id%% China GDP grows 6.1% in 2019, slowest rate in 29 years Sliding birthrate, tariffs and weak manufacturing investment remain a drag CK TAN, Nikkei staff writer January 17, 2020 11:06 JST Updated on January 17, 2020 13:48 JST Demand for key Chinese exports such as cellphones and PCs was sluggish in 2019. © AP SHANGHAI -- China's gross domestic product grew at the slowest pace in 29 years in 2019, as weaker exports, investment and consumer spending weighed on the economy. The 6.1% expansion marked a slowdown from the 6.6% growth seen the previous year, the National Bureau of Statistics said Friday. Growth in the last quarter of 2019 equaled the 6.0% logged in the July-September period. The bureau said China will remain vigilant of mounting downward pressure from a global economic slowdown and domestic structural issues. The downward trend will not be helped by a sliding birthrate, rising unemployment and problems in the banking sector. The 0.5 percentage point decline in the growth rate from the previous year is the biggest since a 1.7 point year-on-year slowdown in 2012. The rate of growth in 2019 was lower than the median 6.2% expansion forecast by economists surveyed by Nikkei, but within the 6% to 6.5% range set by the government. "Economic activity picked up last month, helping to avert a further slowdown last quarter," Julian Evans-Pritchard and Martin Rasmussen wrote in an emailed note. "External headwinds should ease further in the coming quarters thanks to the 'Phase One' trade deal and a recovery in global growth. But we think this will be offset by a renewed slowdown in domestic demand, triggering further monetary easing." Total retail sales of consumer goods including e-commerce slowed to 8%, from 9% in 2018, while fixed-asset investment including infrastructure and factory construction decreased to 5.4% from 5.9%. Final quarter growth holding steady reflects the effect of fiscal stimulus, and respite from the trade war cease fire, said Zhu Chaoping of J.P. Morgan Asset Management. China also unveiled data on Friday showing the nation's population growth rate (births minus deaths) falling to 3.34 per thousand in 2019 -- the lowest since 1961, and down from 3.81 the previous year. The decline in the fertility rate in an aging society is another headwind for economic growth. The moderation in full-year growth reflected lower demand for Chinese goods, which has been dampened by the trade war with the U.S., and weaker global electronics orders, according to Rajiv Biswas, Asia chief economist at IHS Markit. Exports for the year totaled $2.498 trillion, up 0.5% -- much slower growth than in 2018, largely due to a drop in shipments to the U.S. Demand for key Chinese exports such as cellphones and PCs was sluggish. Exports of products subject to higher U.S. tariffs, such as furniture and textiles, also slumped Despite a "phase-one" deal reached between Beijing and Washington on Wednesday, which will see the U.S. lower tariffs on $120 billion of Chinese goods in return for Beijing buying $40 billion worth of American farm goods, economists remained downbeat on China's growth outlook this year. "While businesses and investors can afford to breath a sign of relief, after a difficult 2019, we still see risks to the China outlook as mainly weighted to the downside, given the fragile nature of the trade truce and the risks that still stalk China's financial markets," according to Tom Rafferty at the Economist Intelligence Unit. More than 20 economists surveyed by Nikkei forecast a median 5.9% expansion in 2020, with many expressing concern local governments' worsening fiscal positions and lackluster manufacturing investment. "The pace of growth is expected to edge lower to below 6%, as ongoing structural reforms in the Chinese economy and the continued impact of [the] remaining U.S. tariffs of 25% on $250 billion of Chinese products remain a slight drag on the growth outlook," said Biswas. More fiscal stimulus could be on the way, as the government said during a high-level economic work meeting last month that it will prioritize "stability" to mitigate rising domestic risks. "Consumer spending has yet to pick up the baton from investment as an engine of growth," said Diana Choyleva, chief economist at Enodo Economics. But the truce in the trade war with Washington may bring some temporary relief for business confidence, according to Fitch Ratings, which on Friday raised its outlook for GDP growth in 2020 to 5.9%, up 0.2 percentage points.
  5. Looks like some investment maybe hit http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/andhra-pradesh/2019/jul/20/world-bank-dropped-amaravati-loan-at-centres-behest-2006758.html VIJAYAWADA: A day after the World Bank ‘dropped’ $300 mn loan for Amaravati, it has come to light that the decision was taken following a communication from the Central government earlier this week. World Bank Senior Communications Officer (South Asia) Elena Karaban told TNIE, “Earlier this week, the Government of India has withdrawn its request to the World Bank for financing the proposed Amaravati Sustainable Infrastructure and Institutional Development Project. The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has been informed that the proposed project is no longer under preparation following the government’s decision.” The World Bank representative did not reveal if the Indian government cited any reason for withdrawing the loan request. The lending agency generally accepts the decision of the member state if the latter wants to withdraw loan application for a project. The Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance, deals with projects related to World Bank financing. The World Bank’s decision has come as a shocker to the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA), which hasn’t received any communication from the DEA. Sources said officials from the authority had a meeting with World Bank representatives just a few days ago, but nothing was informed even then. For the record, the previous TDP regime, in 2016, through the Centre, sought a loan of $500 mn to construct Amaravati under Externally Aided Project (EAP) programme. However, the application was put on hold following letters from a few farmers in the capital region in May, 2017, who alleged widespread irregularities in land procurement. The World Bank reportedly wanted to dig deeper and the same was communicated to the State government earlier this year. With the change of guard, the State officials, through the DEA, reportedly sought time to consider the lending agency’s request. However, the Centre, it is learnt, wasn’t keen on a probe by an international agency, prompting it to withdraw its loan request. For processing the loan, the World Bank needs a sovereign guarantee from the Centre. The World Bank pulling out of the deal triggered a blame game between the YSRC and the Opposition TDP. While TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu, under whose leadership the loan was sought, held the YSRC government responsible for the World Bank backing out of the commitment, the ruling party leaders claimed that ‘irregularities’ committed during the TDP’s rule were the reason. Speaking to a news channel, YSRC MP and the State’s Special Representative in New Delhi V Vijayasai Reddy said the World Bank wanted to send a team to investigate complaints by farmers from Amaravati alleging irregularities in land procurement. He was quoted as saying that if a probe was needed, the State government would conduct it and that the State government was against probe by a foreign agency. From his remarks, it appears that both the Centre and the Jagan government are on the same page. Nonetheless, the Centre hasn’t cleared the air yet. TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu, in an informal chat with reporters in the Assembly lobby on Friday, remarked, “Who instigated the farmers to complain? Wasn’t it YSRC? The present government is responsible for the bank backing out.” The TDP also moved an adjournment motion for a debate on Amaravati in the Assembly, but the Speaker rejected it. YSRC Chief Whip G Srikanth Reddy quickly hit back at Naidu saying that the TDP was carrying on a false propaganda. “The TDP committed atrocities and irregularities in the name of land pooling. This prompted the farmers to write letter to the World Bank. The same has been confirmed by the Working Group on International Financial Institutions as well,” he said at the Assembly’s media point.
  6. https://asia.nikkei.com/Economy/China-s-Greater-Bay-threatens-Singapore-s-finance-and-tech-status China's 'Greater Bay' threatens Singapore's finance and tech status Analysts see huge Hong Kong-Macao project siphoning business away from city-state JUSTINA LEE, Nikkei staff writer March 04, 2019 06:35 JST To stay competitive and become a "smart" city, Singapore has been investing in emerging digital technologies across various industries SINGAPORE -- China's ambitious Greater Bay Area project encompassing Hong Kong, Macao and nine cities in Guangdong could threaten Singapore's standing as a hub for finance and technology. Earlier this month, Chinese authorities unveiled their plans for the vast area, which boasts a population of 71 million and an estimated gross domestic product of $1.64 trillion. Although a concrete road map for developing the Greater Bay Area has yet to be made, the unveiling was a crucial step forward in Beijing's efforts to quell rising protectionism around the world and spark a slowing economy at home. According to economists, the project could eventually overshadow Singapore. Lawrence Loh, director of the Centre for Governance, Institutions and Organisations at NUS Business School, noted that the huge project "will definitely" have an impact on Singapore. "The geoeconomics of the new Chinese development will be formidable in its scale and scope, [creating] synergies across many industries and markets," he said. Loh added that the Greater Bay Area is also "a much bigger region," with 12 times Singapore's population and almost five times its GDP. "The main challenge for Singapore will be specifically in the finance sector and -- more broadly -- in its location as a business hub," Loh noted. Tommy Xie, head of Greater China Research at OCBC Bank, said that Hong Kong will be the first to benefit from the project. Strengthening Hong Kong's role as a global financial center and magnet for investment by China "may pose some immediate challenges to Singapore," he said. Still, rather than being put off, some Singapore companies see potential in the huge area. Lucas Loh, president of China & Investment Management at Capitaland Group, said the core growth engines, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, in the Greater Bay Area "are also part of [the company's] core city clusters in China." Capitaland has been ramping up its presence in Guangzhou over the past year, acquiring two residential sites in Zengcheng District and a mixed-use site in Guangzhou Science City, which Loh says is "a key component of China's plans to turn the Greater Bay Area from a strong manufacturing base into a science and technology hub." Shenzhen will form an important part of China's Greater Bay Area. © AP However, not all analysts think the project will damage Singapore. "Hong Kong and Singapore are global cities which tap worldwide talent pools and financial markets, so the Greater Bay Area does not really represent a marked shift in the competitive dynamic between the two," said Duncan Innes-Ker of The Economist. Innes-Ker thinks the city-state can mitigate some effects of the project by reducing barriers that prevent Singapore-based companies from operating in Southeast Asia. "ASEAN's economies are expected to expand rapidly," he said. "This should provide many opportunities for financial and professional service providers based in Singapore" To boost competitiveness, Singapore has been increasing efforts to transform itself into a "smart" nation by investing in emerging digital technologies across various industries. In fintech alone, investments in 2018 more than doubled to $365 million from a year ago, according to a recent report by Accenture. Singapore is also working on fifth-generation, or 5G, technologies. In January, Singapore Telecommunications, Ericsson and Singapore Polytechnic launched the nation's first 5G training and testing center. The partners will use the facility to develop applications for transportation, logistics, health care, manufacturing and other industries.
  7. Let's see if your car is a petrol drinker anot. Best is to state car make and model. Sharing is caring! Currently driving a Suzuki Carry 1.3 for point A to point B.
  8. Dear brothers and sisters 2018 is a very slow economy year for our country Any kind souls can enlighten me of any business idea to setup in Singapore I understand our market is really small Am looking just a small business to run Thanks so much for your time reading my post Cheers and all the best fellow Singaporean:)
  9. Singapore emerged to be one of the least miserable economy in the world !!! Our leaders, statutory boards, and even some in civil service had all contribute and steered the country well. Which country is better than Singapore. So many expats after working in Singapore are longing to re-locate here. Our leaders are not perfect, but are certainly competent and hardworking. Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-14/most-miserable-economies-of-2018-stay-haunted-by-inflation-beast
  10. U nia bo??? i never contribute leh...no buy car [bigcry] http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singap...ows/742028.html SINGAPORE: Singapore
  11. Something to take the heat off Volkswagen I wonder who is next? http://www.bbc.com/news/business-36089558
  12. Porker

    Smoking Can Help Czech Economy

    Article dated 2001 though Philip Morris Cos. officials in the Czech Republic have been distributing an economic analysis concluding that cigarette consumption isn't a drag on the country's budget, in part because smokers' early deaths help offset medical expenses. The report, commissioned by the cigarette maker and produced by consulting firm Arthur D. Little International, totes up smoking's "positive effects" on national finances, including revenue from excise and other taxes on cigarettes and "health-care cost savings due to early mortality." The premature demise of smokers saved the Czech government between 943 million koruna and 1.19 billion koruna (between $23.8 million and $30.1 million or between 20.3 million euros and 25.7 million euros) on health care, pensions and housing for the elderly in 1999, according to the report. The report also calculates the costs of smoking, such as the expense of caring for sick smokers and people made ill by second-hand smoke as well as income taxes lost when smokers die. Weighing the costs and benefits, the report concludes that in 1999 the government had a net gain of 5.82 billion koruna ($147.1 million) from smoking. Philip Morris said it received the Little report late last year and handed it out recently after complaints from Czech officials that the tobacco industry was saddling the country with huge health-care expenses. "This is an economic-impact study, no more, no less," said Robert Kaplan, a spokesman for Philip Morris's international tobacco unit in Rye Brook, N.Y. "We're not trying to suggest that there would be a benefit to society from the diseases related to smoking." Philip Morris manufactures about 80% of the cigarettes smoked in the Czech Republic. The New York company, which owns a 77.5% stake in a formerly state-owned Czech tobacco enterprise, sells its flagship Marlboro smokes as well as local brands. Measuring the net costs of smoking to societies and governments long has been controversial and difficult. Studies measuring the lifetime health-care costs of smokers, who die sooner but have higher annual medical expenses, have reached conflicting conclusions. Some find that, over their lives, smokers have similar costs to nonsmokers. Others have found that smokers' health-care costs are higher. Gauging the real level of such costs is very difficult, and hard-to-quantify expenses aren't captured in many estimates. Smokers, for example, recover more slowly and are more likely to have complications after surgery for unrelated problems, increasing the cost of caring for them. Tobacco-control experts attacked the Czech report. "Is there any other company that would boast about making money for the public treasury by killing its customers? I can't think of one," said Kenneth Warner, an economist at the University of Michigan's school of public health. Dr. Warner said the study appeared to be seriously flawed because, among other things, it fails to consider what the economic impact would be if smokers stopped buying cigarettes and spent their money on other goods instead. Eva Kralikova, a physician and epidemiologist at Charles University in Prague, said the report also "very much underestimated" the costs of medical care for people suffering from smoking-related diseases. Dr. Kralikova said lung cancer and other illnesses caused by tobacco use account for about 20% of all deaths in the Czech Republic, killing about 23,000 people a year. And she said the number of illnesses and deaths is expected to mount, as is the expense of medical treatment, as smokers age.
  13. Posting some of the flight review videos I made on Singapore Airlines, Economy. SQ 305 London to Singapore - Darth Vader Cameo SQ 322 Singapore to London - Faulty Krisworld Have a great day!
  14. V8-powered cars have always been known to be not fuel efficient. But CNET reckons it shouldn't stop you from owning one. Watch the video and see what are the top 5 cars that it thinks have a good balance of power, price and of course fuel consumption. By the way, the choice of vehicles ignores hybrids and diesels and to our surprise, only one car is not German and it ranks highest on the list. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nf9ZuWwTH8 Now that you have seen this, wouldn't it be interesting to also have a listing of the least efficient V8 cars on sale, excluding diesels and hybrids?
  15. Beware, if you are thinking of flying with Qatar Airways. They have Boeing 787 Dreamliners (I think 30). The Economy class seats are incredibly cramped. We flew to London with Qatar and on 2 of the 4 legs, we had the Boeing 787. The flights Singapore to Doha QR 945, departing SIN at 0230 - Boeing 787-800 Doha to London Heathrow QR 011 departing DOH at 0550 - Airbus A340 (45 minute layover at Doha) For the return London Heathrow to Doha, QR 002 - departing LHR at 2130 - Boeing 787-800 Doha to Singapore, QR 938 - departing at DOH at 0700 - Airbus A350 (very new plane!) I made some flight review videos, if you are interested to see the cabin. Singapore to Doha https://youtu.be/HEAy1KHMVtw London to Doha https://youtu.be/_bkNZfvfFf4 On a more positive note, the rest of the experience was good. The new Airbus A350 and the older Airbus A340 product was good too. So, it is just this Boeing 787 product. Qatar Airways Boeing 787 Singapore to Doha This is the flight review video - https://youtu.be/HEAy1KHMVtw This was the very first leg, Singapore to Doha. The flight would depart SIN at 0230. By that time, we were all very sleepy. A picture of the departures that early morning. Fortunately, Changi Airport had some loungers where we could snooze a bit. The loungers were very popular though. That area of the airport was very quiet and you could look at some plants and even a small water feature. Boarding was smooth and departure was slightly early, which was good because our connection at Doha was 45 minutes and we were wondering whether we could make the connection. The flight from Singapore to Doha would take about 7 hours. Now, I begin my rant. They call the Boeing 787 the Dreamliner, but it is certainly no dream sitting in the Economy class. Why? The seats are awfully cramped and the legroom is crazily tight. Even my kids felt a bit squashed and they are small in size. The Boeing 787 in Economy is in a 3-3-3 configuration. I went into lots of detail about this point in my flight review video. But here are some pictures to illustrate my point. This picture shows you the legroom available and the infamous IFE box, which takes up some space. The remaining space in front of my can barely take my backpack, which is by no means big. This picture shows you my legs in that small space. Another picture showing you the cramped seat and legroom. I guess for a short flight, say 2-3 hours, it is still ok. But for a red-eye, it is a completely different proposition. Do watch my video as I show you more of the cramped seating and I also take a walk around the cabin and you can see for yourselves the seating situation. To be fair to Qatar, other than the cramped seats on the B787 (which you can appreciate is a big deal given that we spend 99% of our time in the seat during a flight), all other aspects of the flight was very good, if not excellent. International crew was attentive and very pleasant. Service was prompt. The IFE system was very modern. Shortly after takeoff, we were served with a sandwich snack. These were warm sandwiches as well as a nice piece of warm cake. They were delicious. You could have a full bar service with your sandwich, that was nice. Thereafter they turned off the cabin lights so that we could get some sleep. 2 hours before landing, they served a full meal (breakfast). We landed early, which was a relief. To my surprise, we didn't have an aerobridge. We had to be take an airport bus to the terminal. However, while on the bus, I noticed that there were many empty aero-bridges. Strange. Were they deliberately creating work for the buses? I don't know. Here is a picture taken while boarding the airport bus at Doha Airport. The ground crew were unloading luggage, especially those that required rapid transfer. Anyway, do watch my review video if you want to see more, including the cabin, the food and even the bus ride from the plane to the terminal at Doha. Qatar Airways Boeing 787 London to Doha, Flight QR2. This was the flight back to Singapore, via Doha, on our way home. We had a good holiday in London. Now, it was time to go home. Departure was from London Heathrow Terminal 4. I spent quite some time at the Observation Deck and made a number of videos, see this link - http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/u-k-ireland/1686930-viewheathrow-london-heathrow-terminal-4-a.html This is the flight review video. https://youtu.be/_bkNZfvfFf4 Gate 22 was the Boarding Gate. It was a short walk from the main terminal. Read this sign. Some planes parked at Terminal 4. We would be walking over to the other side for Gates 22-25. That would be our ride to Doha. Qatar Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner, A7-BCK. Spotted this plane coming in. Air One. Airbus A320. I checked wikipedia which reported that this company has ceased operations in 30 Oct 2014. So this plane is now operated by Alitalia? Boarding was quick and smooth and we got to our seats quickly. Now, in my last report, I had already made a big deal about the cramped seat. That left me thinking, what else can I do to illustrate to readers just how narrow the seat is? An idea struck me, let's do a selfie. Check out this photo of me. I am seated upright, leaning back against the seat fully, with shoulders touching the seat. Look where my shoulders fall and look where my arms are, in this relaxed position. I am by no means a big guy. To be more specific, I am about 5"9 and weigh around 160 pounds. And that's how cramped the seat is for somebody like me. See also the video, where I did a video version of the selfie, just to make the point clear to all interested viewers. Alright, it would take 6.5 hours to Doha. In the air. The main meal was served and I chose the beef. It was pretty good. The meal came with this small piece of chocolate, which was very good. Fortunately for me, the load on this leg was light enough such that the seat in between me and the other chap on the other aisle seat was empty. Phew! Much more comfortable. At least I managed to catch some sleep. Woke up about 2 hours before landing. This was the breakfast snack, which was pretty good. All the snacks we had on Qatar were good. We were put in a holding position before landing and that got me a bit anxious since our connection was only 45 minutes. Anyway, I figured the next plane would wait for us (I hope!). I took this photo to show you a comfortable leg position. Obviously, such a position is not possible if the middle seat is taken. This would be the typical position for my legs if the middle seat were taken. You can see that it would NOT be comfortable at all, especially if you are trying to sleep! Despite the holding pattern over Doha, I think we still landed on schedule. Again, we had to be bussed to the terminal. Oh well, at least I had an empty seat beside me for this London to Doha leg. That made the flight very much more comfortable.
  16. “The Fed has decided to put the waiting world out of its misery, and start the taper that most economists believe is justified by the data,” said Rob Carnell, chief international economist at ING. The central bank also emphasised that it would keep interest rates close to zero “well past” the point that the US jobless rate falls below 6.5 per cent – and said it wanted to see inflation heading back up towards its 2 per cent target before the first rate rise. “This is a very dovish ‘taper-lite’, where the Fed has done its utmost to provide an offset with its forward guidance, notably on the inclusion of inflation in the unemployment threshold,” said Alan Ruskin, strategist at Deutsche Bank. The S&P 500 equity index reversed an early decline to rise 1.7 per cent to a record closing high of 1,810. The CBOE Vix index of equity volatility, often called Wall Street’s “fear gauge”, was down more than 14 per cent. The dollar also rallied strongly, pushing above Y104 to its highest level against the yen in more than five years. The euro was down 0.5 per cent at $1.3692 while the dollar index, a gauge of the currency ’s value against a basket of counterparts, was up 0.4 per cent. US government bonds appeared largely unfazed by the Fed’s move, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury up 4 basis points at 2.88 per cent – roughly where it stood before the announcement. The two-year yield was just 1bp higher at 0.33 per cent. But gold gave back an earlier advance to stand $10 lower at $1,219 an ounce. Among industrial commodities , Brent crude settled $1.19 higher at $109.63 a barrel, although copper had a more cautious session. The metal edged back 0.1 per cent in London to $7,270 a tonne. European equities moved higher ahead of the Fed announcement, albeit in relatively subdued trading, with the FTSE Eurofirst 300 climbing 0.9 per cent. In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 climbed 2 per cent, as the yen came under early pressure from data showing that Japan’s trade deficit had widened in November. “The weak yen is largely to blame for the recent widening of the trade deficit,” said Marcel Thieliant at Capital Economics. “As domestic demand accelerates ahead of the consumption tax hike, the deficit may well widen further in the near-term, but we should see a narrowing once the tax has been raised.” Sterling also provided some interest on the currency markets as it briefly broke back above $1.64 – and gilt prices fell – as expectations for an earlier than expected UK interest rate rise were stoked by robust jobs data. The unemployment rate fell to 7.4 per cent, the lowest since April 2009, raising the chances that it would fall below the Bank of England’s 7 per cent threshold next year. The minutes of the December meeting of the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee, meanwhile, highlighted concern among members about sterling’s recent robust performance. “The Bank of England continues to stress that while the economy’s improved growth performance is welcome, it is still some way from returning to normality and significant headwinds remain, so interest rates need to remain down at 0.5 per cent for some time to come,” said Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight. Nevertheless, the pound was up 0.8 per cent against the dollar at $1.6387 – in spite of the US currency’s post Fed announcement rally – while the yield on the 10-year UK gilt rose 5bp to 2.93 per cent. There was also further positive news on the German economy, as the Ifo institute’s business climate index increased to 109.5 this month, the highest reading since April 2012. “Judging by the ‘flash’ purchasing managers’ index released earlier this week, and this Ifo survey, the German economy remains on track to outperform its euro area peers over the near term at least,” said Grant Lewis at Daiwa Capital ­Markets.
  17. Iceland got problem. USA printing money. HK controlling property bubbles. But S'pore still showing good signs, e.g. many pple rushing to condo showroom, buying big cars, etc. May be the next financial crisis coming. what you guys think?
  18. For discussion.... Is this good news or bad news to Singapore .... Yahoo news: Japan slides into recession as tax hike takes toll TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's economy unexpectedly shrank in the third quarter as housing and business investment declined following a tax hike, dragging the country into a recession and further clouding the outlook for the global economy. The world's third-largest economy contracted at a 1.6 percent pace in the July-September quarter, the government said Monday, contrary to predictions it would grow after a big drop the previous quarter. The surprise deepens uncertainty when China's growth is slowing and the 18-country eurozone grew only 0.2 percent in the same quarter. The gross domestic product figures showed across-the-board weakness in demand among consumers, manufacturers and builders. Many individuals and companies had spent money before the sales tax was hiked in April from 5 percent to 8 percent, and spending has languished since then. "The impact of the sales tax was much more severe than expected," said Junko Nishioka, an economist at RBS Japan Securities. Housing investment plunged 24 percent from the same quarter a year ago, while corporate capital investment sank 0.9 percent. Consumer spending, which accounts for about two-thirds of the economy, edged up just 0.4 percent. The BOJ's move, along with a government decision to shift a large share of the public pension fund investments out of government bonds and into higher yielding but riskier shares, pushed Japan's share benchmark to seven-year highs this month. But in morning trading, the Nikkei 225 stock index tumbled 2.6 percent to 17,037.65. Monday's data is preliminary, with a revision due Dec. 8. Since some of the decline was due to reductions in inventory, things may not be as bad as the GDP reading suggests, economists said. Pierre Ellis, senior economist at Decision Economics in New York, said increased business orders in the past three months for machinery, industrial equipment and other big ticket items should boost output in the coming months. Abe already was expected to announce additional economic stimulus this week. The dismal Monday morning data will probably lead him to announce a package worth about 3 trillion yen to 4 trillion yen ($26 billion to $35 billion), Nishioka said. More of stories, link: https://sg.finance.yahoo.com/news/japan-says-economy-contracted-1-000844739--finance.html Good news is Japanese cars will be cheaper if Japan into recession and COE going down... Bad news is Japan is the World's third-largest economy can go into recession, will it affect SG also ......
  19. Our crony-capitalism index Planet Plutocrat The countries where politically connected businessmen are most likely to prosper Mar 15th 2014 | From the print edition http://www.economist.com/news/international/21599041-countries-where-politically-connected-businessmen-are-most-likely-prosper-planet
  20. China mode on, Dont play play hor, we need change master soon liao. http://m.ft.com/cms/s/0/d79ffff8-cfb7-11e3-9b2b-00144feabdc0.html China to pass US as largest economy By Chris Giles, Economics Editor The US is on the brink of losing its status as the worlds largest economy, and is likely to slip behind China this year, sooner than widely anticipated, according to the worlds leading statistical agencies. The US has been the global leader since overtaking the UK in 1872. Most economists previously thought China would pull ahead in 2019. The figures, compiled by the International Comparison Program hosted by the World Bank, are the most authoritative estimates of what money can buy in different countries and are used by most public and private sector organisations, such as the International Monetary Fund. This is the first time they have been updated since 2005. After extensive research on the prices of goods and services, the ICP concluded that money goes further in poorer countries than it previously thought, prompting it to increase the relative size of emerging market economies. The estimates of the real cost of living, known as purchasing power parity or PPPs, are recognised as the best way to compare the size of economies rather than using volatile exchange rates, which rarely reflect the true cost of goods and services: on this measure the IMF put US GDP in 2012 at $16.2tn, and Chinas at $8.2tn. In 2005, the ICP thought Chinas economy was less than half the size of the US, accounting for only 43 per cent of Americas total. Because of the new methodology and the fact that Chinas economy has grown much more quickly the research placed Chinas GDP at 87 per cent of the US in 2011. For 2011, the report says: The US remained the worlds largest economy, but it was closely followed by China when measured using PPPs. With the IMF expecting Chinas economy to have grown 24 per cent between 2011 and 2014 while the US is expected to expand only 7.6 per cent, China is likely to overtake the US this year. The figures revolutionise the picture of the worlds economic landscape, boosting the importance of large middle-income countries. India becomes the third-largest economy having previously been in tenth place. The size of its economy almost doubled from 19 per cent of the US in 2005 to 37 per cent in 2011. Russia, Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico make the top 12 in the global table. In contrast, high costs and lower growth push the UK and Japan further behind the US than in the 2005 tables while Germany improved its relative position a little and Italy remained the same. The findings will intensify arguments about control over global international organisations such as the World Bank and IMF, which are increasingly out of line with the balance of global economic power. When looking at the actual consumption per head, the report found the new methodology as well as faster growth in poor countries have greatly reduced the gap between rich and poor, suggesting that the world has become more equal. The worlds rich countries still account for 50 per cent of global GDP while containing only 17 per cent of the worlds population. Having compared the actual cost of living in different countries, the report also found that the four most expensive countries to live in are Switzerland, Norway, Bermuda and Australia, with the cheapest being Egypt, Pakistan, Myanmar and Ethiopia.
  21. Have you come across prices for economy rice that you find absurd? I ever ordered mushroom (and some other vegetable another time which I avoid now) and the stall owner can tell me it's the same price as meat (on the receipt, it's labeled as pork chop/sotong). I didn't ask for a change as I it's already in the plate but I will avoid MUSHROOMS in future. I just don't understand why some vegetables are so expensive. Do you have a habit of asking for the individual prices before you order economy rice (if prices are not stated)?
  22. http://business.asiaone.com/news/chinas-economy-faces-severe-times-year-premier-li Thursday, Jan 23, 2014 BEIJING - China's economy faces a severe time this year and the government will be watching trends closely to ensure stable growth, Premier Li Keqiang was quoted by state radio as saying on Thursday. "The situation that we face in 2014 remains severe," Li was quoted as saying. He did not elaborate. Li was quoted separately by the government's website as saying that officials will strive to keep consumer prices stable. Data this week showed China's economy grew 7.7 per cent in 2013, narrowly missing market forecasts for growth to slide to a 14-year trough of 7.6 per cent.
  23. from Yahoo : Is Singapore set for an Icelandic-style crash? A stinging commentary warning that Singapore is facing an Icelandic-style economic crash has provoked much debate amongst industry commentators and yielded an official response from the Monetary Authority of Singapore. According to Jesse Colombo, an economist and columnist for Forbes magazine, the wealthy Southeast island state of Singapore is displaying similar characteristics to Iceland in the run up to its spectacular economic collapse in 2008, amid the rapid expansion of its banking sector overseas and an influx on hot money from abroad. (Read More: When will Singapore roll back property curbs? ) Colombo argues that Singapore is subject to a ballooning credit bubble that is driving economic growth and creating the illusion of prosperity. A bubble he says has been fueled by ultra-low interest rates encouraging explosive growth in mortgage and commercial loan borrowing. The economist points to a plethora of bubbly characteristics in the Singaporean economy, including a high ratio of household debt to gross domestic product (GDP), sky-high property prices and a potential banking crisis if non-performing loans increase once interest rates normalize. Singapore's benchmark interest rate is tied to the U.S. Fed Funds' rate and stands at 0.08 percent. (Read More: Fraud trial puts Singapore mega church in unholy spotlight ) The commentary, published in Forbes on Monday, prompted the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to respond on Tuesday in a statement denying that Singapore is facing a credit bubble that is putting the country or its banking system at risk of a crisis. "Serious observers and investors are not in doubt about the country's financial health," the MAS said in a statement. (Read More: In Singapore? Odds are, you're looking for a new job ) The central bank acknowledged that low interest rates have stimulated credit growth and a rise in property prices, but alluded to steps they have taken in recent years to cool property demand and prevent excess leverage. It also referred to a recent assessment by the International Monetary Fund which showed Singapore's financial system would remain sound under severe stress scenarios, including a sharp increase in interest rates and a steep fall in property prices. more of the stories, link : http://sg.finance.yahoo.com/news/singapore-set-icelandic-style-crash-062623294.html We just spend S$2billion on upgrading our F16. Peter Lim on the verge of buying Valencia (footclub) for $306 million pound, someone had paid $1.05 million for a HDB flat ... etc. What melt down ....
  24. Anyone try this oil before? Any comment? https://www.mobiloil.com/USA-English/MotorO...l_1_0W-30.aspx#
  25. Is it true ..... from yahoo news: S.League brings S$200million to Singapore economy annually The 12-team S.League is into its 17th year of operation this year, and despite a turbulent near-two decades of existence, Singapore's first professional football league has a significant financial presence according to Football Association of Singapore (FAS) President, Zainudin Noordin. Speaking in a media interview with Mediacorp's Suria channel, Zainudin noted that the S.League was of great importance and that it contributed $200million annually to Singapore's economy. "Since it started about 16 years ago, it has grown so big that it brings in about $200 million to the Singapore economy every year," explained Zainuddin on BICARA. "It also generates a lot of other activities and jobs related to football. This is an example of how a professional league is important. Now with LionsXII in the Malaysia Super League, it will expand the regional involvement between Singapore and Malaysia. " The S.League, which was launched in 1996, has seen its fair share of criticism for failing to capture the interest of the nation in recent years, most evident in the falling attendance figures. However, the league has seen a boost in fan interest, with strong attendance numbers for most matches of the 2013 season. Zainudin noted the trend as well at the 31st FAS Annual General Meeting, when he stated that the S.League had an increase in attendance of 45% for the first half of the season this year. In the interview with Suria, the FAS President elaborated that the Singapore football industry has allowed the participation of 'hundreds of thousands' and brought various entitities together. "There is a lot of involvement from communities, schools, corporations and from professional leagues such as the S.league," he said. "S.league has been established for 16 years. There are hundreds of thousands of people involved in the football industry in Singapore. That is something the FAS is proud of, and we are still thinking of how to involve even more people. "There is big potential for football in our country and the region." Zainudin confirmed in the televised interview that an appearance in the final of the upcoming SEA Games was the target for the Singapore team, and that FAS was determined to host one of the Fifa Youth World Cups in 2019. Hard for me to believe cos most of the time, played to almost 20% filled stadium...... I am talking about S-League which does not includes the M-Cup and M Super League .... The link: http://sg.sports.yahoo.com/news/league-brings-200million-singapore-economy-annually-043000217--spt.html
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