Economists upgrade growth forecast to 3 per cent this year: MAS survey
SINGAPORE - Following better-than-expected growth in the first quarter of the year, economists and analysts surveyed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) have raised their forecasts slightly for the second quarter and for the year.
The survey by MAS conducted last month - 21 of 25 forecasters responded - saw the respondents forecast growth of 3 per cent for the year, an upgrade from the 2.5 per cent median forecast in the previous survey in March.
For the second quarter, the respondents expected growth of 2.8 per cent, a slight upgrade from the 2.5 per cent reported in March.
In the first quarter, the economy grew 1.6 per cent, much higher than the median forecast of 0.1 per cent reported in the March survey. In particular, the construction sector performed beyond expectations, growing 7.7 per cent instead of the median forecast of 1.1 per cent. Performing below expectations was the financial sector which grew 0.8 per cent, compared to the median forecast of 2.2 per cent.
Meanwhile, respondents raised the median CPI-All items inflation forecast for the year to 4.2 per cent from the 3.5 per cent forecast in March. For the second quarter, CPI-All Items inflation is projected at 5.2 per cent.
In this survey, forecasters were also asked for their projections for MAS Core Inflation, which they forecast to be 2.7 per cent this year and 2.8 per cent for the quarter.
For the labour market, respondents expected the unemployment rate to be 2.2 per cent by year-end, slightly lower than the 2.3 per cent forecast in March.
For next year, respondents expect economic growth to come in at 4.5 per cent, while CPI-All Items and MAS Core Inflation is forecast to reach 3 per cent and 2.4 per cent respectively.
The MAS said the survey does not represent its views on the economy.
13 June 2012