SINGAPORE: The Singapore economy is expected to grow 0.7 per cent this year, according to private-sector economists polled in a quarterly survey by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Wednesday (Dec 11).
This forecast is higher than the 0.6 per cent growth forecast in the previous survey.
The revised forecast came after the economy grew by 0.5 per cent in the third quarter, higher than the 0.3 per cent projected by respondents in the previous survey.
The manufacturing sector is now expected to contract 1.4 per cent, moderating from the predicted 2.4 per cent decline in the previous estimate.
The outlook was also pessimistic for the wholesale and retail trade sector, from -2.8 per cent to -3 per cent.
In contrast, the finance and insurance industry is expected to post growth of 4.1 per cent, a slight drop from the 4.3 per cent growth predicted previously.
Economists also expect the construction sector to expand by 2.8 per cent, up from the 2.7 per cent growth predicted in the last survey.
They also forecast that growth in the accommodation and food services sector will more than double to 1.9 per cent compared to the previous survey.
The latest quarterly survey indicated that further escalation of trade tensions – in particular between China and the US – topped the list of downside risks for 87.5 per cent of the 22 respondents.
Other downside risks include a “sharper-than-expected” slowdown in China’s economic growth, cited by 43.8 per cent of respondents in the December survey as compared to the previous 50 per cent.
For 2020, the economists expect GDP growth to rise to 1.5 per cent.