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The Week In Numbers: Watch And Learn

Chinese manufacturing activity continued to shrink in September. The latest Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) reading of 49.7, whilst better than expected, could suggest that the Chinese economy may struggle to grow at a rate of 7% this year. But the Chinese government, in spite of a spate of weak economic numbers still expects the economy to grow according to plan.

Perhaps growth could be spurred by consumer spending. Another survey indicated that the Chinese services industry expanded last month. The official PMI for September came in at 53.4. A reading above 50 suggests that activity is expanding, which is just what the Chinese government wanted.

The Singapore dollar fell to six-year low against the US dollar this week. It dropped to as low as S$1.43. Currency experts now the Singapore authority to adjust the band that the local currency trades in. They reckon that it could be equivalent to a 2% devaluation of the Singapore dollar.

Weak consumer sentiment and slower retail sales are taking its toll on shop landlords in Singapore. According to property expert DTZ, average first-storey rent in prime retail locals fell by 3.7% to S$30.90 per square foot, compared to the last quarter. It fell by 4.5% from a year ago. Separately, the latest survey by Urban Redevelopment Authority showed that occupancy rate for retail space across the island was 91.8%.

And finally, the average price of an Apple watch including accessories is US$529 (S$755), according to a survey of 2,200 people by Reuters. The survey also found that men spend US$30 more on the watch than women. A basic Apple watch cost around US$350 for sports model, and up to US$17,000 for something a bit special.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore Director David Kuo doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.