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Economists upgrade Singapore 2024 growth forecast, survey shows

Economists upgrade Singapore 2024 growth forecast, survey shows
People sit outside a construction site in Singapore Feb 16, 2021.
PHOTO: Reuters file

SINGAPORE — Economists have upgraded Singapore's 2024 growth forecast, according to a survey by the country's central bank published on Wednesday (March 13), with better-than-expected external growth seen as the top upside driver for the economy.

The median forecast of 23 economists surveyed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore is for the economy to grow 2.4 per cent this year, up from a forecast of 2.3 per cent in December's survey.

The trade ministry expects gross domestic product (GDP) for 2024 to be at 1.0 per cent to 3.0 per cent.

The economists surveyed also cut their inflation forecast, with headline inflation and core inflation expected to come in between 3.0 and 3.4 per cent. In the December survey, they had assigned the highest probability to the 3.5 to 3.9 per cent range for headline inflation and 3.0 to 3.4 per cent for core inflation.

MAS projects core inflation to ease to an average of 2.5-3.5 per cent for 2024.

The survey was conducted in mid-February, after the government released fourth quarter GDP results for last year that were slower than first estimates.

GDP rose 2.2 per cent on a year-on-year basis in the fourth quarter, lower than an advance estimate of 2.8 per cent.

Majority of survey respondents do not expect the central bank to change monetary policy in the April 2024 review.

The MAS had kept monetary policy settings on hold in January as inflation pressures continued to moderate and growth prospects improved. It also left monetary policy unchanged in April and October last year, reflecting growth concerns, having tightened policy at five consecutive reviews prior to that.

The MAS has a new review schedule this year with policy announcements every quarter instead of semi-annually.

ALSO READ: Singapore keeps monetary policy settings unchanged

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