Economists raise Singapore's 2017 growth forecast to 2.5%

People along the Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade.
People along the Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Private sector economists are more upbeat about Singapore's economy this year as the global growth outlook continues to brighten, according to a new survey.

Growth is expected to come in at 2.5 per cent this year , according to economists polled by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in its latest quarterly survey out yesterday. This is up from the 2.3 per cent forecast in the previous survey.

The more optimistic view comes as trade-related sectors - in particular, electronics manufacturing - have enjoyed a boost from stronger global demand.

But the pickup has not been broad-based - sectors that rely largely on local demand, such as construction and food and beverage, remain mired in a slowdown. The labour market is also still not out of the woods.

The MAS survey, which reflects the views of 21 analysts, comes on the back of a Trade and Industry Ministry statement last month that said growth is expected to come in above 2 per cent this year due largely to the improving global outlook.

Trade agency IE Singapore has also upgraded its forecast for exports this year. It now expects non-oil domestic exports to grow 4 per cent to 6 per cent for the full year, up from earlier estimates of zero to 2 per cent.

Survey respondents expect the manufacturing sector, which makes up a fifth of the economy, to continue driving economic activity this year with a growth rate of 5 per cent, up from an estimate of 4.5 per cent in the previous survey.

SEE TOP OF THE NEWS: Economists split over prospects for broader economy

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 15, 2017, with the headline 'Economists raise Singapore's 2017 growth forecast to 2.5%'. Print Edition | Subscribe