SINGAPORE: Private sector economists have cut their forecast for Singapore’s economic growth this year to 1 per cent, down from an earlier projection in June of 1.4 per cent.
A slowdown in the external growth environment was cited as the top downside risk, with economists also flagging inflationary pressures and slowing growth in China.
These findings were released on Wednesday (Sep 6) in the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) latest survey of professional forecasters. A total of 22 economists and analysts responded to the survey.
The growth estimate of 1 per cent in the latest survey falls within the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s (MTI) GDP forecast of between 0.5 and 1.5 per cent.
This range was narrowed from a previous forecast of 0.5 to 2.5 per cent, with MTI saying in August that it sees a “weak” external demand outlook for the rest of the year.
According to the MAS survey, the manufacturing sector – a key economic indicator – is expected to contract by 4.4 per cent this year, a poorer outlook compared to the previous forecast of 1.3 per cent contraction.
Singapore’s manufacturing output, which accounts for about one-fifth of the country’s gross domestic product, has been in contraction territory for about a year amid weak global demand, according to the Purchasing Managers' Index.
But there have been some signs of recovery, with a slower contraction in recent months.
For the third quarter of this year, economists in the MAS survey expect GDP to grow by 1 per cent year on year, higher than the 0.5 per cent year-on-year expansion in the second quarter.
Private sector economists also expect core inflation to come in at 4.1 per cent for the whole of 2023, unchanged from their projection in June.
Core inflation, which excludes accommodation and private transport costs, is forecast to hit 3.5 per cent in the third quarter of this year, according to the survey respondents.
They expect the figure to fall to 2.8 per cent in 2024.
None of the respondents expect changes to Singapore’s monetary policy – to the slope, width and level of the S$NEER policy band in MAS’ October review.