Singapore to release monetary policy statement, advance Q1 GDP data on April 13

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) building in Shenton Way.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) building in Shenton Way.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - The Government will release its semiannual monetary policy statement and flash data on first-quarter gross domestic product on April 13.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) will issue its monetary policy decision at 8am next Thursday, the central bank said on its website.

Separately, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) announced it will release the advance GDP estimates for the first quarter on the same day and at the same time.

MAS is widely expected to keep its exchange-rate based monetary policy unchanged at next week's review after signs of recovery in Singapore's exports and manufacturing sector. But given the risks to growth that remain and subdued inflationary pressures, analysts are not expecting MAS to tighten policy next week.

MAS manages monetary policy by changes to the exchange rate, rather than interest rates, letting the Singapore dollar rise or fall against the currencies of its main trading partners within in an undisclosed policy band based on its nominal effective exchange rate (NEER).

Its last policy shift was in April 2016, when MAS surprised with an off-cycle move after a collapse in global oil prices.

The stronger-than-expected rebound in exports and mamufacturing have led private sector economists polled by MAS to lift their full-year forecast for economic growth in 2017 to 2.3 per cent from 1.5 per cent previously. The Government has tipped growth of 1 to 3 per cent.

The economy grew 2.9 per cent in the final three months of 2016, bringing full-year growth in 2016 to 2 per cent, faster than the 1.9 per cent in 2015.

Economists have warned though of the risks to the sunnier outlook for Singapore's economy in the form of potential protectionist trade policies by US President Donald Trump and economic restructuring domestically.