Economists cut Singapore 2017 growth forecast to 1.8% from 2.1%, leave 2016 unchanged at 1.8%

A view of the skyline of Singapore's central business district.
A view of the skyline of Singapore's central business district. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - The Singapore economy outdid economists estimates' last quarter to grow at a slightly faster rate than expected, but few are expecting a repeat performance, according to the latest quarterly survey of private economists by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

The survey, which polled 22 economists and analysts who closely monitor the Singapore economy last month, showed that respondents expect the Singapore economy to grow by 1.7 per cent in the three months to September, over the same period last year.

This is just slightly lower than the June forecast for 1.8 per cent growth in the third quarter. The forecast does not represent MAS' own views.


GRAPHIC: MONETARY AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE

Likewise, the economy is expected to expand by 1.5 per cent in the three months to December, less than the 1.7 per cent growth forecast in June.


GRAPHIC: MONETARY AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE

The more cautious outlook for the second-half comes even as the Singapore economy expanded by 2.1 per cent in the three months to June, which was slightly above the median forecast for a 2 per cent expansion reported in the June survey.

But the big picture has remained broadly similar between then and now. For 2016 as a whole, the respondents expect the economy to grow by 1.8 per cent, unchanged from the previous survey.


GRAPHIC: MONETARY AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE

The professional forecasters are tipping a larger downgrade in growth next year instead. According to the survey, the Singapore economy is expected to expand by 1.8 per cent next year. Back in June, the survey had pointed towards an expansion of 2.1 per cent for 2017.