PRIVATE sector economists have become slightly more upbeat about the Singapore economy's prospects this year, predicting mildly brighter growth and lower core inflation.
They now expect the local economy to grow 2.8 per cent this year, according to a Monetary Authority of Singapore survey released today, marginally higher than the previous 2.7 per cent forecast last December.
This is near the upper band of the Government's forecast of 1 per cent to 3 per cent growth for 2013.
However, the economists have downgraded their first-quarter growth forecast to 0.8 per cent from 1.2 per cent tipped previously.
The 21 respondents polled also expect inflation to come in at 3.8 per cent for this year, unchanged from the December survey.
However, they anticipate core inflation, which excludes private cars and accommodation, of 2 per cent, mildly more optimistic than the 2.2 per cent seen previously.
These economists also projected growth of 4 per cent for next year, with inflation seen to come in at 3.4 per cent and core inflation at 2 per cent.