Singapore Q2 GDP: Economists give their predictions

SINGAPORE - Economists expect Singapore's economy to have expanded about 2 to 3 per cent in the second quarter compared with a year ago, they told The Straits Times.

The median forecast of the six economists polled was 3 per cent growth in the April to June period from the previous year. This would be down from 4.9 per cent growth in the first quarter.

While the manufacturing sector likely proved the main drag, the services sector is also showing signs of slowing amid the ongoing restructuring drive and resultant labour crunch, economists said.

Here are their detailed forecasts for second-quarter economic growth, ahead of the official flash estimates to be released on Monday.

1. Bank of America Merrill Lynch economist Chua Hak Bin
Q2 growth forecast: 2.2% year-on-year, -0.6% quarter-on-quarter
"The impact from restructuring may be intensifying. Manufacturing may be the first casualty, but there are signs that restructuring pains is starting to spread to some services segments. "

2. DBS economist Irvin Seah
Q2 growth forecast: 2.3% year-on-year, -0.7% quarter-on-quarter
"Back-pedaling in manufacturing output as well as persistent weakness in the services sector due to the restructuring are the main reasons for the dismal economic performance."

3. OCBC economist Selena Ling
Q2 growth forecast: 2.8% year-on-year, 2.9% quarter-on-quarter
"The main drag on the Singapore economy's ability to pick up speed going into Q2 is the manufacturing sector's volatile momentum - we expect a moderation from the stellar 9.8 per cent year-on-year in Q1 to more subpar growth of just 0.7 per cent in Q2."

4. Barclays economist Leong Wai Ho
Q2 growth forecast: 3.1% year-on-year, 0.6% quarter-on-quarter
"The performance of manufacturing has been below expectations in Q2, but we are hopeful of a stronger Q3, led by a stronger technology supply chain in North Asia and a marginally stronger Chinese economy."

5. UOB economist Francis Tan
Q2 growth forecast: 3.1% year-on-year, 2.5% quarter-on-quarter
"Sectors that are less reliant on labour will do better. These are usually wholesale trade and manufacturing, although not all manufacturing segments will do as well. I am still optimistic on transport engineering, semiconductors and biomedical manufacturing."

6. CIMB economist Song Seng Wun
Q2 growth forecast: 3.1% year-on-year, 2.6% quarter-on-quarter
"We do expect to see slower year-on-year growth across all the key service-producing segments. Overall, we are looking at the services sector to expand by a slower 4 per cent in Q2 vs. Q1's 4.4 per cent. In particular, the accommodation and food and beverage sectors are likely to be affected by combination of slower tourist arrivals growth and hiring difficulties."

Note: Quarter-on-quarter growth projections are adjusted by each economist to account for estimated seasonal fluctuations

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