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No decisive near-term pick-up in growth: MAS

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 12:00

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Singapore's gross domestic product (GDP) growth is not expected to pick up significantly in the near term, warned the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Tuesday.

SINGAPORE'S gross domestic product (GDP) growth is not expected to pick up significantly in the near term, warned the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Tuesday.

In its latest Macroeconomic Review, the central bank said that growth in trade-related industries is likely to be constrained - even if there are signs of a bottoming-out in particular segments.

Said MAS: "In recent months, there have been incipient signs that the weakness in some of these globally underperforming markets could be reaching a trough, with modest improvements seen in semiconductor prices and freight rates. Nevertheless, the recovery is expected to be hesitant; and activity in Singapore's trade-related sectors could remain muted in the coming year."

Thus, support for growth will largely come from modern services and domestic-oriented industries.

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"Sustained government spending on ICT (information and communications technology) initiatives and a stream of public infrastructure projects alongside robust demand for essential services, such as health care, should also provide some support to overall domestic growth," said the central bank.

MAS reiterated the government's forecast for GDP growth to come in at the lower end of the 1-2 per cent for 2016, and "only slightly higher" in 2017.

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