Monday, June 16, 2008

Economists See S'pore Q2 Growth At 4.7%: Poll

Source : The Straits Times, June 16, 2008

SINGAPORE'S economy will grow 4.7 per cent in the second quarter from a year ago, slowing from a 6.7 per cent expansion in the January-March period, a central bank survey of economists showed on Monday.

Full-year growth in 2008 was predicted at 5.5 per cent, within the government's forecast range of 4-6 per cent, the Monetary Authority of Singapore's quarterly survey of 21 private sector economists showed on its website.

The 2008 forecast compares with expectations of 5.6 per cent growth in the central bank's March survey. Last year, Singapore's economy grew 7.7 per cent.

Economists raised their forecasts for 2008 inflation to 6 per cent from 5.0 per cent in the March survey. The government expects inflation in the South-east Asian country to fall within 5-6 per cent this year.

More than half of the economists surveyed expected inflation to fall within 6-6.5 per cent.

In a reflection of mounting uncertainties in the global economy amid a credit crisis and a US economic slowdown, economists raised their 2008 jobless rate estimate and cut their growth forecasts for all sectors apart from manufacturing.

For non-oil domestic exports, worth about 70 per cent of Singapore's 2007 gross domestic product, the 2008 median forecast was revised down to 3 per cent from 5 per cent in the March survey.

However, the median growth forecast for Singapore's manufacturing sector, which makes up about a quarter the island's trade-dependent economy, was raised slightly to 5.5 per cent from 5 per cent.

The 2008 median forecast for Singapore's jobless rate was raised to 2.2 per cent after seasonal adjustments from 2.0 per cent in the March survey. -- REUTERS

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