Singapore expected to run budget deficit next year, PM says

Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his wife Ho Ching arrive at a polling station during Singapore’s general election, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Singapore July 10, 2020. REUTERS/Edgar Su/Files

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Singapore is expected to run a budget deficit next year and may not be able to balance its books for a while, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Tuesday, adding fiscal support is needed to repair the damage of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our next budget is in February and I very much doubt we will have a budget surplus by then, even a balanced budget would be very hard to do,” PM Lee said in an interview at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum.

“I hope that we will be able to come back to prudence and balanced budget but it may take a while.”

Reporting by John Geddie; Editing by Himani Sarkar