COVID-19 makes Singapore face first recession in nearly two decades hinh anh 1Woodlands Causeway between Singapore and Malaysia (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - Singapore is edging towards its first full-year recession in nearly two decades as neighboring Malaysia’s travel ban cuts off a key source of labor and its economy is hit by COVID-19 pandemic, forcing the central bank to loosen policy.

Economist Khoon Goh at ANZ bank warned that financial conditions have tightened considerably in recent weeks, and the lockdown being imposed by countries to contain the epidemic means a recession in Singapore cannot be avoided.

Meanwhile, economist Prahask Sakpal said the Malaysian government’s overseas travel ban till March 31 will deal a blow to Singapore’s small- and medium-sized enterprises which rely on workforce from the neighbouring country.

Singapore is also set to unveil the second economic package to help businesses and workers, which is believed to be more effective than monetary action in the near term.

The Singaporean Health Ministry reported additional 23 COVID-19 infection cases on March 17 alone, its biggest daily jump, bringing the total to 266./.