Private economists a little less upbeat about Singapore economy: MAS

Private economists expect the Singapore economy to expand 1.8 per cent - lower than the 1.9 per cent figure in the March survey.
Private economists expect the Singapore economy to expand 1.8 per cent - lower than the 1.9 per cent figure in the March survey.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Private economists are slightly more pessimistic about the economic growth outlook for Singapore this year.

In the latest quarterly survey conducted by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), they expect the economy to expand 1.8 per cent - a tad lower than the 1.9 per cent figure in the March survey.

On a more positive note, first quarter growth came in at 1.9 per cent, markedly higher than the 1.6 per cent median forecast in March, the MAS said in its June report released Wednesday (June 15).

A total of 22 private economists responded to the MAS survey, sent out to 27 economists on May 25.

They expect the local economy, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP), to grow 2 per cent in the current second quarter.

On the inflation front, the economists are tipping that consumer prices will contract 0.4 per cent for 2016, compared with the March forecast of a 0.2 per cent fall in prices.

They believe the unemployment rate will be 2.1 per cent by the end of this year.

Looking further ahead to 2017, the economists expect the local economy to grow 2.1 per cent and for inflation to move back into positive territory, with consumer prices rising 1 per cent.