Economists downgrade Singapore's growth forecast to 1.9% for 2015

Growth should come in at about 1.9 per cent for the year, down from the 2.2 per cent previously forecasted.
Growth should come in at about 1.9 per cent for the year, down from the 2.2 per cent previously forecasted. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Private sector economists downgraded their outlook for the Singapore economy this year (2015), as they predicted slower growth across all sections of the economy.

Growth should come in at about 1.9 per cent for the year, down from the 2.2 per cent previously forecasted, according to the majority of the 22 economists polled by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Most economists also expected manufacturing to be the worst hit sector this year, contracting by 4.7 per cent for the whole year.

Financial services and insurance, and wholesale and retail trade, are likely to continue driving the economy.

Both should expand at about 6 per cent, said the forecasters.

The Trade and Industry Ministry had said in its latest economic report that growth for the whole year should come in at at "close to 2 per cent".

The economy is also likely to experience the full weight of negative inflation, with economists expecting general prices to fall by 0.5 per cent.

With the US Federal Reserve looking to raise rates next week, interest rates here are also likely to edge up. The three-month Sibor could hit 1.25 per cent, the poll said.

Next year could see growth expand slightly to 2.2 per cent, while inflation should return to positive territory at about 0.5 per cent.

The MAS had painted a sobering picture of the global economy in the next few months, warning that in its latest financial stability review that risks for global growth are rising,