January 27, 2020 / 4:02 AM / a month ago

Coronavirus outbreak will hit Singapore's economy this year -trade minister

SINGAPORE, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Singapore’s economy will be impacted by the outbreak of a new coronavirus that originated in China at the end of last year and has spread to the city-state, its trade minister said on Monday.

The Southeast Asian travel and tourism hub, which recorded its lowest growth rate in a decade last year at 0.7%, has reported four cases of the coronavirus that has killed 80 people in China so far.

“There will certainly be an impact on our economy, business and consumer confidence this year especially as the situation is expected to persist for sometime,” Chan Chun Sing said.

Tourism-related sectors were of immediate concern and the government was ready to support firms and workers, he said.

Chinese nationals make up the largest share of visitors to Singapore, one of the worst hit countries outside of China in the 2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). (Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Writing by John Geddie; Editing by Tom Hogue)

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