Economists cut Singapore 2016 growth forecast to 1.9% from 2.2%: MAS survey

The skyline of Singapore's Central Business District area shot from Marina Bay Sands.
The skyline of Singapore's Central Business District area shot from Marina Bay Sands.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore's growth prospects for this year have dimmed, according to a new survey of private sector economists released on Wednesday (March 16).

Economists now expect the economy to expand at a modest pace of 1.9 per cent this year, down from an earlier forecast of 2.2 per cent in the December edition of the quarterly survey conducted by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

The latest March poll, sent out on Feb 24, reflects the views received from 24 economists who closely monitor the Singapore economy.


SOURCE: MAS SURVEY OF PROFESSIONAL FORECASTERS, MARCH 2016

Government forecasts tip growth to come in between 1 per cent and 3 per cent this year.

For the current first quarter ending March 31, economists surveyed expect 1.6 per cent growth.


SOURCE: MAS SURVEY OF PROFESSIONAL FORECASTERS, MARCH 2016


SOURCE: MAS SURVEY OF PROFESSIONAL FORECASTERS, MARCH 2016

Survey respondents expect inflation for this year to come in at negative 0.2 per cent, down from an estimate of a 0.5 per cent rise in the previous survey.

Those surveyed also expect MAS core inflation - seen as a better gauge of out-of-pocket expenses for households - to come in at 0.8 per cent, down from the 1 per cent projected in the previous survey.


SOURCE: MAS SURVEY OF PROFESSIONAL FORECASTERS, MARCH 2016

This comes as global energy prices experienced a further rout at the start of the year amid ongoing uncertainty over global economic outlook.

The jury is still out on China's mid-term growth prospects, even as other traditional global growth drivers like the United States continue eking out a slow recovery.

Economists in the latest MAS survey expect Singapore's economy to grow a stronger 2.5 per cent next year.


SOURCE: MAS SURVEY OF PROFESSIONAL FORECASTERS, MARCH 2016


Correction note: An earlier version of this article stated government forecasts tip growth to come in between 2 per cent and 4 per cent this year. This is incorrect, the values should be 1 per cent and 3 per cent instead.