IMF expects Singapore economy to grow 2.9% in 2015

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects the Singapore economy to grow 2.9 per cent this year, the same pace as last year.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects the Singapore economy to grow 2.9 per cent this year, the same pace as last year.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects the Singapore economy to grow 2.9 per cent this year, the same pace as last year.

Growth will be supported by accommodative macroeconomic policies, lower energy costs and a gradual recovery in external demand, the IMF said in its latest report about Singapore.

The Singapore government's forecast is for the economy to expand between 2 and 4 per cent this year, though some economists expect this to narrow to 2 to 3 per cent following dismal second quarter numbers.

Economists have cut their own forecasts for 2015 growth with UOB's Francis Tan downgrading his estimate to 2.5 per cent from 2.9 per cent, while Barclays' Leong Wai Ho has cut his lower to 2 per cent from 3.4 per cent.

The Asian Development Bank lowered its forecast for the Singapore's economy growth this year to 2.8 per cent from its March estimate of 3 per cent.

The IMF said Singapore's ongoing economic restructuring is expected to ultimately raise productivity but is also subject to transition costs in the short term.

The IMF report also noted " the merit of a flexible and pragmatic approach to restructuring, including potential adjustments to foreign worker policies and investment incentives, as needed, in light of experience".