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Singapore's economy likely to achieve better performance in 2017

Staff Writer |
Singapore economy is forecast to grow by 1 to 3 percent in 2017, with a strong likelihood that it would be higher than the 2 percent registered last year, said the head of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

MAS Managing Director Ravi Menon made the statement at the release of the MAS Annual Report, the Straits Times reported.

According to the report, Singapore's economic growth has been somewhat uneven across sectors but this is to be expected in the initial stages of an external-led pickup and is expected to gradually broaden to the rest of the economy over the course of this year.

The trade-related cluster, comprising the manufacturing, transport and storage, and wholesale services sectors and accounting for 43 percent of GDP, has been a major driver behind the rebound in Singapore economy since the fourth quarter of last year.

It contributed slightly over two-thirds of sequential GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017.

MAS expects higher growth in this cluster to flow-through more broadly to the rest of the economy and gain momentum over time.

Meanwhile, the modern services cluster, comprising financial, business, and ICT services and accounting for about 30 percent of GDP, recorded mixed outcomes over the last two quarters but is poised for higher growth in the second half of this year.

Besides, the domestic-oriented cluster, comprising retail and food services and construction activities and accounting for 17 percent of GDP, has had lacklustre growth and some segments are expected to remain weak.

MAS also forecast that both core and headline inflation of Singapore are on a modest uptrend but underlying price pressures remain benign.

It predicts the MAS Core Inflation will average 1 to 2 percent in 2017, up from 0.9 percent in 2016, and CPI-All Items inflation is expected to come in at 0.5-1.5 percent, up from minus 0.5 percent last year.

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