Survey: Economists trim Singapore growth estimates

  • Business
  • Thursday, 18 Dec 2014

SINGAPORE: Economists have cut their estimates for Singapore’s economic growth in 2014 and 2015 from three months ago and lowered forecasts for inflation, a central bank survey showed.

The median forecast of 22 economists surveyed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) was for gross domestic product (GDP) to expand 3% this year, down from expectations for 3.3% growth in a survey published in September and growth of 3.9% last year.

Economists also trimmed their 2015 growth forecast to 3.1% from 3.7% previously.

Such expectations are in line with the government’s forecast for growth of around 3% this year and 2%–4% expansion in 2015.

A tepid and uneven global recovery has tempered Singapore’s economic growth this year.

Headwinds have also come from the government’s push to reduce a politically unpopular reliance on foreign workers. That has led to a tight labour market and raised business costs.

The MAS survey shows that economists see core inflation at 2% for the year, down from 2.2% in the previous survey.

They also see core inflation slipping to 1.9% in 2015, down from 2.5% in the September survey.

The MAS has said it expects core inflation, which excludes changes in the prices of cars and accommodation and is the focus of monetary policy, to average 2%–2.5% in 2014 and 2%–3% in 2015.

Economists also trimmed their forecast for all-items inflation to 1.1% this year, down from 1.8% in the previous survey. They expect headline inflation to come in at 1.1% again in 2015, down from 2.2% previously.

The MAS has said it expects CPI-all items inflation to come in at 1%–1.5% in 2014 and 0.5%–1.5% next year.

Headline consumer inflation has fallen this year due to a moderation in housing costs and car prices but core inflation has stayed relatively firm on the back of wage cost pressures. — Reuters

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