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The Shrinking Dollar

>> Saturday, September 26, 2009

According to a recent UBS survey, Singaporeans can afford to buy less than what people in many other cities can because prices here have risen more than wages.

http://www.ubs.com/1/ShowMedia/investors/releases?contentId=170255&name=P+L_2009_e.pdf

Although MPs in Singapore has cited the limitations of the survey, the strength of the survey lies in its consistency. Hence, comparing Singapore in isolation based on the same factors from 2006 to 2009, it is still undeniable that the Price Level has risen whereas the Wage Level has fallen.

The make matters worse, this troubling trend will most badly affect the middle-income earners in Singapore. And as a society with a majority middle-class population, it results in the low purchasing power versus high expectation of this segment of people.

Hopefully, this will serve as a wake-up call for the government to not only focus on the assisting the lower-income group with welfare and subsidies but also to address economic policies that will reduce downward pressure on wages while still remaining competitive globally.

In the meantime, it is a reminder to all Singaporeans to take the initiative to improve their lives through prudent financial planning or end up caught in the effects of a smaller dollar.

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