The Week in Numbers: Economic Growth in US and UK Tapers

US President Donald Trump has confirmed his plan for tax cuts in his country. According to Trump’s plans, the corporate tax rate will fall from the current 35% to 15%, while the number of personal income tax brackets will drop to three from seven. Furthermore, the top tax rate for individuals will decrease from 39.6% to 35%.

This has been dubbed the biggest tax cut in history by Trump’s administration. However, the plan, which comprises just one single page, offered no explanation on how the tax cuts would be paid for without increasing the US’s budget deficit.

In the first quarter of 2017, the US economy grew by 0.7%, as compared to a rise of 2.1% in the fourth quarter of 2016. Poor auto sales and lower home-heating bills dragged down consumer spending, even though investment led by housing and oil drilling saw pickups. The latest performance is the weakest in three years, where the gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 1.2% in the first quarter of 2014.

Meanwhile, in the UK, the economy grew 0.3% in the first quarter of 2017, down from 0.7% in 2016’s fourth quarter. The latest GDP growth rate is the lowest in a year, mainly due to a slowdown in the services industry, which comprises of hotel, restaurant, and distribution businesses. This sector accounts for about 78% of the UK economy.

Turning our attention to Singapore now, manufacturing output rose 10.2% year-on-year in March. This was due to strong growth in the electronics sector, which grew at a clip of 37.7%.  The higher manufacturing output in March marks the eighth consecutive month of year-on-year growth.

Changi Airport saw 15,000,000 passengers passing through its doors for the first quarter of this year, up 4.7% from a year ago. Growth from Chinese passengers was strong, coming in at 14%. Chinese passengers also accounted for around 10% of total passenger movement during the period. In March, there were 30,920 landings and take-offs at the airport, 2.6% higher than a year ago.

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