MAS survey: Economists expect Singapore economy to grow by 15pc in Q2 and 6.5pc in 2021

The Singapore economy is set to expand by 6.5 per cent this year. — TODAY pic
The Singapore economy is set to expand by 6.5 per cent this year. — TODAY pic

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SINGAPORE, June 14 — The Singapore economy is set to expand by 6.5 per cent this year, higher than the Government’s full-year growth forecast of 4 to 6 per cent, based on a survey of economists by the central bank. 

The 24 economists who responded to the survey by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) also forecast that the economy would expand by 15 per cent in the second quarter of 2021, compared with the same period last year. 

Singapore’s economy grew by 1.3 per cent in the first quarter, after shrinking 5.8 per cent last year in the country’s worst recession since independence. 

The Ministry of Trade and Industry said last month that it would review its full-year economic growth forecast in August. 

The economists forecast that the construction sector would record the largest expansion of 19.3 per cent this year, compared with the same period last year. 

The manufacturing sector is expected to expand by 8.3 per cent, and accommodation and food services by 6.5 per cent, over the same period. 

The economists added that the most likely outcome for the Singapore economy is growth of between 6 and 6.9 per cent this year. 

They also expect the economy to grow by 4 per cent next year, with the expansion most likely to come in at between 3 and 4.9 per cent. 

Risks to economic outlook

A majority of the economists (76 per cent) cited an escalation of the Covid-19 crisis as the top risk to Singapore’s economic growth outlook.

About 47 per cent of the respondents identified geopolitical risks, including tensions between the United States and China, as a potential hurdle to growth. 

A smaller proportion of the respondents (29 per cent) pointed to a slower-than-expected recovery of the labour market as a risk to economic growth. 

Conversely, the economists said that Singapore could perform beyond expectations with the successful containment of Covid-19, stronger-than-expected growth in the manufacturing sector and the reopening of international borders. — TODAY

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