News: Economists lower growth forecast for Singapore again, MAS survey

Jun 13, 2019

The pessimistic outlook comes as the economy grew 1.2 percent in the first quarter of 2019, which was significantly lower compared to the 1.9 percent forecast in the March survey. The median forecasts were also lower for all macroeconomic indicators, with the exception of the construction sector. 

Economists have once again lowered their growth forecast for Singapore to 2.1 percent, down from their earlier forecast of 2.5 percent, showed the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) latest survey of professional forecasters.

“As reflected by the mean probability distribution, the most likely outcome is for the Singapore economy to grow by between 2.0 and 2.4 percent this year,” said MAS.

Median forecasts for all macroeconomic indicators, except construction, were lower, showed the survey.

The construction sector is expected to increase 3.5 percent, up from 2.1 percent in the previous survey.

The manufacturing sector, on the other hand, is anticipated to shrink by 0.2 percent, compared to a two percent growth in the March survey.

Growth forecast for wholesale and retail trade as well as non-oil domestic exports also hovered on negative territory at -0.3 percent and -2.1 percent from 1.5 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively.

“Reflecting recent developments in US-China relations, concerns about escalating global trade protectionism continue to dominate the list of potential downside risks.”

MAS noted that 94.1 percent of respondents point to an escalation in trade frictions as a downside risk.

Also included in the top three downside scenarios are slowdown in China, which was cited by 53 percent of respondents, and global economic downturn, indicated by 29.4 percent of respondents, up from 5.3 percent in the previous survey.

Meanwhile, 70.6 percent of respondents considered the easing of trade tensions between the US and China as an upside risk to their forecasts.

Respondents expect Singapore’s economy to pick up to 2.3 percent in 2020, unchanged from the March survey.

Can you afford a condo in Singapore? Check your affordability now. Get more details on the property market outlook for 2019

Fiona Ho, Digital Content Manager at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this or other stories, email fiona@propertyguru.com.sg

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