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The Week In Numbers: Child’s Play

Around 55 million travellers arrived in Singapore last year. That was 2.5% better than a year ago. Things were not looking too promising in the first six months of 2015, when traveller numbers were largely flat. But a rebound in the second six months was thanks to a redoubling of efforts by Changi Airport Group to woo new airlines and new destinations. That could be good news for airport services group SATS (SGX: S58).

Singapore banks have upped their fixed-deposit rates ahead of the Chinese New Year. Amongst those that have increased their rates is DBS Group (SGX: D05), which has lifted six-month payout from 0.15% to 0.2%, for any sum from S$1,000 to around S$1 million.

The worst decline in Singapore manufacturing output Singapore has prompted economists to lick the top of their pencils and whip out their erasers. Some experts think that the Singapore economy might have only grown 2% last year. But others believe that manufacturing might only have a negligible drag on total growth.

It was only a few days ago when the Bank of Japan ruled out adopting negative interest rates. But worse-than-expected December economic numbers has forced the central bank to backtrack. It will ease monetary policy further and charge financial institutions 0.1% for leaving excess reserves in the bank. The Japan benchmark stock-market index surged on the news.

And finally, we can probably forget about the use of monetary or fiscal policy to turn around an economy. Some superstitious people in Thailand have turned to lifelike dolls to bring good luck. The plastic dolls, which are called “child angels”, are about the size of a real baby. They can cost up to US$800 each.

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