The Week in Numbers: Singapore in Focus

Singapore’s population grew at the slowest pace in a decade in the last 12 months up to June. It increased by 5,000 people, a mere 0.1% increase to current population levels of 5.61 million. For the past 10 years prior to 2017, the population grew at 2.45% annually.

According to the Straits Times, the main reason for the slowing growth is the decrease in the number of work-permit holders. The non-resident population declined by 1.6% to 1.65 million, the first drop in 14 years.

At the same time, the population of Singaporeans continues to age. Percentage of Singaporeans aged 65 years and up rose to 14.4%, compared to 13.7% in 2016. Citizen births declined in 2016 by 1.7% to 33,167 after a record high in 2015. The 2016 figure is still larger than the past 10-year average of 32,200.

The Straits Times also reported data on the performance of CPF investment scheme. 78% or 441,000 of those who invested their CPF made a profit above the 2.5% fixed investment return of CPF OA. Another 10% or 60,000 made a profit below 2.5%. At the same time, 12% of people who invested in the scheme made a loss.

Meanwhile, China’s industrial profits grew 24% in August year-on-year to 672 billion yuan (S$137.5 billion). This was an improvement from July, which had an annual growth of 16.5%. The strong growth was driven by higher commodity prices, which was propelled by a yearlong government-led construction boom.

Over in Japan, core inflation increased 0.7% in August. It was the 8th straight month of inflation. Demand for labour stayed at the strongest level in 43 years as jobs-applicant ratio remained at 1.52 in August.

Industrial output also increased by 2.1% in August on a monthly basis. Manufacturers surveyed by the government predict output to fall 1.9% this month and rebound in October by 3.5%.

Overall, Japan’s economy grew by 2.5% for the second quarter year-on-year. This was boosted by increased consumer and company expenditure.

Finally, there have been a total of 14 IPOs in Singapore this year. Total funds raised so far of US$2.077 billion are 27% more than the same period last year. 13 of the 14 IPOs had positive first day returns. For the whole of 2017, EY analysts believe that total IPOs globally will fall in the range of 1,600-1,700 and will raise between US$190 billion and US$200 billion.

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.