SINGAPORE - Estimates of Singapore's economic growth during the January to March period this year will be released on Monday, April 14, by the Trade and Industry Ministry (MTI). We ask economists for their growth forecasts:
1. Economist: Selena Ling
Q1 growth (over previous year): 5.6%
2014 growth: 3.5%
"Manufacturing is likely to see robust first quarter growth, partly due to a low base this time last year. Electronics, in particular, is signaling a stronger recovery trajectory."
2. Economist: Kit Wei Zheng
Q1 growth (over previous year): 5%
2014 growth: 3.5%
"Outside manufacturing and trade-related services, the rest of the economy had a mixed start to the year. Air and sea transport slowed, while tourism-related sectors have been hit by falling occupancy rates and visitor arrivals. At the other end of the spectrum, financial services growth has been cushioned by resilient bank lending even as sentiment-sensitive markets slumped. Construction activity also had a strong start to the year."
3. Economist: Irvin Seah
Q1 growth (over previous year): 5.8%
2014 growth: 4.0%
"Economic conditions have been improving since the fourth quarter of 2013. The first quarter of this year might see some moderation in manufacturing growth compared to the fourth quarter last year, but the services sector should be able to pick up some of the slack."
4. Economist: Chua Hak Bin
Bank: Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Q1 growth (over previous year): 5.1%
2014 growth: 3.2%
"We expect MTI to upgrade their full year growth forecast to 2.5 to 4.5 per cent (from 2 to 4 per cent) when the finalised first quarter data is released in May. Growth is coming in above expectations, despite restructuring and stricter foreign worker policies."