Singapore’s economic growth this year to 3.3 percent
Private sector economists and analysts have raised their forecast for Singapore’s economic growth this year to 3.3 per cent, but flagged the slowdown in the Chinese economy, geopolitical uncertainty in North Korea and the Middle East, and global trade protectionism as major concerns.
Compared to the previous survey conducted in September, they expect manufacturing and finance and insurance sectors to register higher growths, while the construction sector could contract more severely, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said in a press release on Wednesday (Dec 13).
The latest projection — from a survey of 23 economists by the MAS — is higher than the 2.5 per cent median forecast in the previous survey, and comes after the economy’s better-than-expected showing in the third quarter of this year.
The Singapore economy grew 5.2 per cent between July and September, the Ministry of Trade and Industry announced on Nov 23 as it revised its 2017 gross domestic product (GDP) forecast to between 3 and 3.5 per cent, up from its initial range of 2 to 3 per cent. The survey was sent out on the same day, MAS said.
The survey found that the economists and analysts expect manufacturing to grow by 10.6 per cent this year, up from 6.6 per cent in the previous survey. The finance and insurance industry is projected to grow by 3.7 per cent, compared to 2.9 per cent. However, the construction sector is forecast to shrink by 7.6 per cent, worse than the 4.2-per-cent contraction initially projected.
For next year, the respondents on average believe the economy will most likely grow between 2.5 and 2.9 per cent.
They also expect inflation to pick up in 2018, with the CPI-All Items inflation projected to reach 1 per cent and MAS Core Inflation to be 1.6 per cent. In comparison, CPI-All Items inflation and MAS Core Inflation for this year are forecast at 0.6 per cent and 1.5 per cent, respectively.
Going forward, the electronics sector, external growth and the property market recovery are top potential upsides for the Republic’s economy. However, 40 per cent of the respondents expect China’s economic performance, the situations in North Korea and the Middle East, and global trade protectionism to potentially hinder growth.