Singapore's 2017 growth forecast upgraded to 3.3%: MAS survey

Singapore's 2017 growth forecast upgraded to 3.3%: MAS survey

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) building. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)
SINGAPORE: Singapore's economic growth this year is expected to come in at 3.3 per cent, according to private-sector economists polled in a quarterly survey by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) released on Wednesday (Dec 13).This forecast is higher than the 2.5 per cent median forecast in the previous survey.In November, the Government forecast full-year growth for the Singapore economy of 3 to 3.5 per cent, an upward revision from an earlier range of 2 to 3 per cent.
The Singapore economy expanded by 5.2 per cent in the third quarter of the year compared with the same period last year, marking the strongest quarterly expansion since 2013. Manufacturing is expected to grow even more than previously predicted, with economists surveyed forecasting growth of 10.6 per cent, up from their 6.6 per cent growth prediction in September's survey.
The finance and insurance industry is expected to post growth of 3.7 per cent, an increase from the 2.9 per cent growth predicted previously.
In contrast, the growth forecast for the construction sector was cut even more, with economists predicting the sector will contract by 7.6 per cent, a further contraction from the 4.2 per cent decline predicted in the last survey.The accommodation and food services sector is forecast to contract by 1.5 per cent, unchanged from September's prediction, while the wholesale and retail trade sector is expected to do better than previously forecast with growth of 1.7 per cent, an increase from the 1.3 per cent predicted in the last survey.
Economists also raised their forecast for non-oil domestic exports, predicting growth of 9 per cent, up from the 7.4 per cent in the previous forecast.
INFLATION LIKELY TO COME IN AT 0.6%
Inflation for 2017 is predicted to come in at 0.6 per cent, a slight decrease from the 0.8 per cent predicted in the last survey. Core inflation - which excludes accommodation and car prices - is expected to come in at 1.5 per cent, down slightly from the 1.6 per cent forecast in September.
The unemployment rate is expected to be 2.2 per cent at the end of the year, unchanged from the previous survey.
For 2018, respondents expect GDP growth to hit 3 per cent, while inflation is projected to come in at 1 per cent and core inflation at 1.6 per cent.
The MAS Survey of Professional Forecasters is conducted every quarter after the release of detailed economic data for the preceding three months. The median forecasts in the latest report were based on the estimates of 23 respondents, MAS said.
Source: CNA/nc