NEW DELHI: India's retail inflation accelerated in May, at its fastest pace in six months as fuel and food prices rose at a higher pace, putting pressure on the central bank to tame prices amid a faltering economic recovery. The Reserve Bank of India earlier this month warned that high energy prices could stoke inflation while cutting the growth forecast to 9.5per cent from 10.5per cent for the current fiscal year beginning April. Annual retail inflation rose 6.30per cent year-on-year, up from 4.29per cent in April. Analysts had forecast retail inflation at 5.30per cent, according to a Reuters poll. Economists fear a rise in prices after the second wave of coronavirus hit the economy while killing tens of thousands of people since April. "We expect the CPI (consumer price inflation) prints to remain above 5per cent until September driving the annual average CPI to 5.2per cent for current fiscal year," said Garima Kapoor, economist institutional securities, Elara Capital, ... » Learn More about India’s May retail inflation picks up to 6.30per cent y/y, highest in six months
SINGAPORE: It has been about eight months since Dr Wong Choo Wai ended his volunteer stint taking care of COVID-19 patients at Singapore Expo, but the 50-year-old sometimes wakes up in panic, thinking that he has overslept and is late for work. The senior family physician is still reeling from his experience of working almost 24/7 from April to September last year - pulling 12-hour volunteering shifts at the community care facility, while also still running his two clinics and seeing his regular patients. Getting only three hours of sleep each day, Dr Wong said that there were days where he almost dozed off at work due to the mental and physical exhaustion. He recalled one particular night in early May last year when he and other volunteers saw patients coming into the facility up until around 4am the next morning. Usually, new cases would stop coming in by midnight. “The next day, we were all so zonked out because each one of us saw at least a few hundred patients for that ... » Learn More about The Big Read: Frontline healthcare workers pushed to limits by non-stop, never-ending COVID-19 fight
SINGAPORE: It had been a tough year for Singapore. Then, as 2020 came to its close, it looked like the country could see a flicker of light at the end of the long COVID-19 tunnel with its transition on Dec 28 to Phase 3 of its reopening. And in the months that followed, the path to a post-pandemic normality looked to be fairly smooth, with community cases generally running to no more than a few a day. Plans for events which hadn't been possible for months started to gather pace. This was in spite of the pandemic continuing to rage worldwide, with a number of countries forced to introduce and then reintroduce measures to curb the spread of the raging virus. Singapore hadn't needed to. Then, very quickly, things changed. Clusters began to spring up, with one emerging at Tan Tock Seng Hospital - the first in a local hospital since the pandemic began. Community cases began to steadily increase. To tackle the spike, Singapore announced some tighter, targeted measures on May ... » Learn More about IN FOCUS: Tackling COVID-19 with targeted measures – the new normal for Singapore?
On June 5, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minster Heng Swee Keat took the opportunity to sum up his aims with his Fortitude Budget, the fourth budget of the year, which he announced on May 26. He focused on the necessity of preserving jobs and maintaining a strong fiscal position as Singapore battles Covid-19, the "global crisis of our generation". Heng said, "There is now talk of a global 'Lockdown Generation', and fears that the youth of our time could have their skills, employability, and incomes permanently affected, even after the world recovers from the pandemic. We must work to prevent a 'Covid Generation' of workers and students in Singapore." Overall spending on four budgets has come up to S$193 billion Coming in at S$33 billion, the Fortitude Budget means that a total of S$92.9 billion will be committed by the government to its Covid-19 response across all four budgets. In addition, over S$72 billion, or nearly 80 per cent of the $92.9 billion sum, ... » Learn More about DPM Heng: ‘Central plank’ of 4 Budgets is preserving jobs & helping unemployed find work