The Week in Numbers: Singapore’s President and the SEA Games

This week, we bid farewell to Singapore’s seventh President. Doctor Tony Tan Keng Yam, who was sworn in on September 1, 2011, left office on Thursday after completing a 6-year term. He oversaw important moments in Singapore’s history, including the passing of founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s 50th birthday and our first Olympic Gold medal.

Meanwhile, in Japan, retail sales growth decelerated in July to 1.9% on a yearly basis. Clothes expenditure increased 3.5% for the same month, a slight drop from June, which had a 5.3% annual increase. Car expenditure grew 6.6% in July, on a year over year basis, a deceleration from June, which saw an 8.7% increase. There was, however, good news in the demand for labour, which rose to its highest level in 43.5 years.

Over at Australia, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported that construction work surged 9.3% in the second quarter of the year, on a quarterly basis. The rise totalled to A$4.4 billion (S$4.8 billion) in inflation-adjusted dollars. This equates to a growth in GDP of more than 1 percentage point.

Moody’s investor service kept its growth forecast for Group of 20 (G-20) economies at slightly above 3% for this year and next. There were some adjustments made to individual economies forecast. It raised its 2017 forecast for China to 6.8% from 6.6%. South Korea saw its growth estimate increase to 2.8% from 2.5%, and Japan to 1.5% from 1.1%.

The United States, however, saw its forecast dip to 2.2% for the year and 2.3% for next, from a previous forecast of 2.4% and 2.5% respectively. Reasons cited included a poorer than expected first half of the year and more modest fiscal stimuli than expected.

Finally, Singapore has won 57 Gold Medals in this year’s edition of the Southeast Asian Games (SEA) Games. This was Singapore’s best performance in an overseas edition of the SEA games and put them 4th overall behind Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. 16 different sports yielded gold medals. Singapore’s total medal count of 188 medals also included 58 silvers and 73 bronzes.

Out of the 303 SEA games debutants among the 560-strong contingent, 71 of them won medals. In total, the sportsmen and sportswomen set 15 Games records, 13 National records and achieved 29 personal bests; a fantastic achievement.

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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 contributor Jeremy Chia doesn't own shares in any companies mentioned.