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Quick takes: Singapore 2017 GDP growth likely better than last year, Q1 growth higher at 2.7%

Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 11:23

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Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said on Thursday that economic growth this year is likely to be better than last year's 2 per cent, but kept its earlier forecast range of 1-3 per cent for 2017.

SINGAPORE'S Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said on Thursday that economic growth this year is likely to be better than last year's 2 per cent, but kept its earlier forecast range of 1-3 per cent for 2017.

First-quarter overall growth numbers were also revised upwards to 2.7 per cent, from an earlier 2.5 per cent.

Here are what some economists are saying about Thursday's numbers:

Irvin Seah, DBS economist:

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Market voices on:

"While the upward revision is in line with our forecast, the extent of improvement fell a tad short of our projection.

"The main concern is that the turnaround thus far has been uneven and restricted to just a few externally driven clusters. The rest of the economy has yet to feel the uplift, and the labour market has also remained soft. Plainly, there are structural challenges weighing down on the domestic sectors and the doldrums is unlikely to dissipate in the near term."

Vaninder Singh, NatWest Markets economist

"On the whole, we expect Singapore's growth to have already peaked. Government spending will certainly continue to be supportive, but with a 10 per cent share of overall GDP (gross domestic product), public expenditure alone will not be enough to lift GDP sustainably higher, even if the government ends up accelerating its infrastructure projects. We have revised our 2017 growth forecast to 1.6 per cent from 1.2 per cent earlier, still in the lower half of the MTI's 1-3 per cent growth forecast."

Selena Ling, OCBC economist:

"Our 2017 GDP growth forecast of 2.5 per cent yoy remains unchanged, with manufacturing growth to lead at 4.1 per cent y-o-y, followed by services at 1.7 per cent and construction may return to positive growth territory in H2 to clock 0.7 per cent for 2017 ... Domestic demand softening may also weigh on some services industries, with wholesale & retail, accommodation & food services, finance & insurance and other services industries already registering quarterly contractions in Q1 17."

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