I was at Orchard on a weekday during lunch hour. On my way to the premier shopping centre of Singapore, the MRT was crowded. When I reached Orchard, the shops were filled with people. The cash tills were ringing constantly.
Recession? I looked at my colleagues with me as we hurried to the restaurant for our lunch appointment.
Yester nite, I was with my husband queuing up for a pair of cinema tickets. It used to cost 10 buck each. Then the cashier cheerily told us that we will only need to pay 8 buck as we were paying with UOB credit card.
Things suddenly became clearer. To combat the accompanying downward retail sales and the expected-lower-than-usual tourist receipts, shops have come up with attractive discounts to lure fellow Singaporeans to open their wallets. Anecdotically, it seemed to be working. When I visited my favorite haunt - koi garden at Suntec City during weekends, the number of people exceeded the kois at the pool. Most were seated - resting their tired feet after a hard day of walking to sniff out the best buy.
While there was much talk about this recession being the worst for Singapore since independence, it appeared that things were not as bad as we thought. It probably had to do with the Job Credit Scheme which the Government has implemented to cushion the impact of the recession.
With talks about more "greenshoots" surfacing and Singapore being an open economy, well-poised to capitalise on the next upswing, hopefully we could be out of the recession soon. But these attractive sales would be something which I would miss sorely...