The jobless rate in Singapore unexpected rose in the first quarter of 2012. The seasonally adjusted jobless rate rose from 2.0% to 2.1%. While this seems a small increase, it caught people by surprise who had expected it to fall again.
In South Korea, the European debt crisis hit March’s industrial production.
South Korean industry produced 3.1% less than in February which the country’s economists are blaming on slower demand from Europe. In the last week both the UK and Spain published negative GDP growth data which meant that both economies are now again in recession.
Whether both sets of data are blips, or they point to the start of a slower trend is unclear. While it appears that the US economy is slowly picking itself up, Europe is going the other way. The balance will greatly affect the Asian region which still relies on exports to America and Europe for much of its economic activity.