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Forecasters lower 2015 growth projections for Singapore, predict 2.2% expansion in 2016

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Economists have cut their expectations for Singapore's economic growth in 2015 to 1.9 per cent and are predicting a 2.2 per cent expansion in 2016, according to a November poll of professional forecasters by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

ECONOMISTS have cut their expectations for Singapore's economic growth in 2015 to 1.9 per cent and are predicting a 2.2 per cent expansion in 2016, according to a November poll of professional forecasters by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

The 28 economists and analysts who were surveyed on Nov 25 have tempered their median expectations for the 2015 GDP (gross domestic product) growth from the 2.2 per cent growth forecast in the previous poll. Growth in the fourth quarter of 2015 is now expected to be 1.4 per cent, lower than the 2.3 per cent predicted in the previous quarter.

Expectations for headline inflation have also fallen, with prices of all items now expected to slip by 0.5 per cent in 2015, a sharper retreat than the 0.2 per cent decline predicted three months earlier.

Forecasts for core inflation, which excludes accommodation and private road transport, remain at 0.5 per cent for 2015.

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The economist expect headline inflation to be 0.5 per cent in 2016, and for core inflation to edge up to one per cent in the coming year.

Among economic sectors, the outlook remains the softest for manufacturing. Economists now expect manufacturing GDP to shrink by 4.7 per cent in 2015, compared to the 2.7 per cent contraction predicted in the third quarter.

GDP from wholesale and retail trade, however, is now expected to increase by 6 per cent in 2016, up from the 4.8 per cent forecast in the previous survey. Expectations for private consumption growth have also improved to 3.8 per cent from 3.3 per cent previously.

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