Singapore central bank holds policy as economic growth surges

People pass the skyline of Singapore October 11, 2017. — Reuters pic
People pass the skyline of Singapore October 11, 2017. — Reuters pic

SINGAPORE, Oct 13 — Singapore’s central bank left monetary policy unchanged, after easing three times since January 2015, as economic growth strengthened on the back of an export boom.

All but one of the 23 economists surveyed by Bloomberg predicted the Monetary Authority of Singapore would stick to its neutral stance of zero appreciation in the currency. Gross domestic product grew an annualised 6.3 per cent in the third quarter from the previous three months, when it expanded 2.4 per cent, the trade ministry said in a separate report.

The only central bank in a major developed nation to use the exchange rate as its main tool, the MAS referred to its October 2016 statement that the neutral stance would be appropriate for an “extended period.”

The Singapore dollar rose 0.1 per cent to S$1.3536 per greenback at 8.05am local time.

The central bank guides the local dollar against a basket of its counterparts and adjusts the pace of its appreciation or depreciation by changing the slope, width and center of a currency band. It doesn’t disclose details on the basket, or the band or the pace of appreciation or depreciation. — Bloomberg

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