Private sector economists have significantly upgraded their full-year forecast for 2017. They projected a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 2.3 percent this year, up from the previous forecast of 1.5 percent.
This was based on a quarterly survey of professional forecasters conducted by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), released on Wednesday, March 15.
Economy was expected to expand by 2.6 percent in the first quarter, and GDP for next year (2018) was projected to be 2.4 percent, Todayonline reported. This forecast was due to the stronger-than-expected performance of Singapore’s economy in the fourth quarter of last year, and a recovery in global trade, among other factors.
ANZ economist Ng Weiwen cited “ongoing recovery in global trade, the reflationary policy under Trump administration, and the fiscal impulse from [Singapore’s Budget 2017]” as factors behind the increased optimism.
But despite the overall improvements in sentiments, CIMB economist Song Seng Wun said that geopolitics remain a risk. “The Dutch elections this week is likely to be another example of populism coming to the fore. Also, Trump’s protectionist measures still run a risk to growth.”
Nonetheless, in the short term, Singapore will benefit from a stronger US economy, he added. “Singapore is part of the supply chain and a strong US, a stable China, and improvement in European Union consumer spending paints a brighter picture for export-oriented [economies like Singapore].”