Singapore's 2018 growth forecast raised to 3.2% by private economists
SINGAPORE - Private sector economists have raised their forecast for Singapore's economic growth this year to 3.2 per cent, on the back of rising optimism in the electronics and property sectors.
The latest projection - from a survey of 24 economists in February - is higher than the 3 per cent median forecast in the previous survey in December last year, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said in a press release on Wednesday (March 14).
The services and financial sectors are expected to expand faster than the December projection, according to the economists. However, they lowered their estimates for growth in the manufacturing sector and for non-oil domestic exports.
The Government expects Singapore's economy this year to grow "slightly above the middle of the forecast range of 1.5 to 3.5 per cent". The Republic's economy beat expectations to grow by 3.6 per cent last year, boosted by strong growth in the manufacturing and services sectors.
About half of the economists who responded to MAS' latest survey cited expectations for stronger growth in the electronics sector as the main potential upside for Singapore's economy. About 41 per cent of respondents also pointed to increased optimism in the property sector as a potential driver for stronger growth, noticeably higher than the 27 per cent who cited this as a factor in December's survey.
The private-sector experts cited uncertainties surrounding global trade and the Chinese economy as their two biggest concerns.
"The possibility of a global trade war scenario presents significant concerns for a large proportion, or 88 per cent, of respondents. This is more than double that in the December survey," said MAS. "The threat of a slowdown in the Chinese economy is comparatively more subdued, at 53 per cent of responses, down from 67 per cent previously."
For next year, the economists polled expected Singapore to grow 2.8 per cent.