Jun 18, 2015

    S'pore GDP forecast for 2015 stable at 2.7%

    WHILE Singapore's economic forecasters have kept their growth projections for this year more or less the same - they expect gross domestic product (GDP) to grow 2.7 per cent this year, compared to 2.8 per cent a quarter ago - their take on various sectors has changed.

    The manufacturing sector, in particular, is expected to grow at a slower pace than earlier forecast.

    This is according to findings from the latest quarterly survey conducted by Singapore's central bank, released yesterday.

    The 23 private-sector economists and analysts who responded to the Monetary Authority of Singapore survey last month have moderated their expectations for manufacturing and finance & insurance growth, but raised their forecasts for the construction and wholesale & retail trade sectors.

    The median forecast for manufacturing growth is now a weaker 0.5 per cent, compared to 1.8 per cent a quarter ago.

    Finance & insurance is expected to grow at 7 per cent, down from a median forecast of 7.5 per cent in March.

    But economists are more optimistic about construction and wholesale & retail trade: Both sectors are now expected to expand 3.3 per cent this year, up from 2 per cent and 2.2 per cent respectively in the previous survey.

    As for consumer prices, the forecasters' projections for this year remain stable.

    Core inflation is still expected at 1 per cent, while headline inflation is expected at zero per cent, compared to an earlier estimate of 0.1 per cent.

    Both private-sector growth and inflation projections fall within the Government's forecasts. According to the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the local economy should expand between 2 and 4 per cent this year.

    Headline and core inflation are projected to average -0.5 to 0.5 per cent and 0.5 to 1.5 per cent respectively.