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Singapore economy seen having 'continued sub-par performance': ANZ

SINGAPORE'S economy is expected to have a "continued sub-par performance" due to a lack of visibility that will hamper any significant rebound in domestic demand, even as Singaporean consumer confidence inched upwards in November, said ANZ's South Asia, Asean & Pacific chief economist.

Glenn Maguire said consumers' lack of visibility on the medium-term prospects for the Singapore economy is not expected to change anytime soon.

Mr Maguire's comments come on the back of Wednesday's release of the ANZ-Roy Morgan Singapore Consumer Confidence for November, which rose 0.7 point higher to 120.9. This makes it almost on par with the 2014 average of 121.0.

Less than one-third of respondents (29 per cent) said that their families will be "better off" financially in a year's time, while 7 per cent believed their families will be financially "worse off".

Over the longer term, 45 per cent of respondents believe that Singapore will have "good times" financially over the next five years, while 11 per cent expect "bad times" financially.

"The weakness in the data showing a clear lack of confidence in the financial and economic outlook on both 12-month and five-year timeframes speaks loudest to us about the adverse spillovers of supply-side restructuring," said Mr Maguire, who added that the five-year timeframe was one that an individual "would certainly expect the dividends of supply-side restructuring to become apparent".

In terms of personal finances, less than a third (27 per cent) of respondents said their families are "better off" financially now than a year ago, compared with 13 per cent who said they are "worse off" financially currently.

On Singapore's economic conditions going forward, almost half (48 per cent) expect the Republic to have "good times" economically over the next 12 months compared to just 13 per cent who expect "bad times" economically.

Eighteen per cent of participants also said now is a "good time to buy" major household items while another 18 per cent differed, saying it is a bad time to do so.

"With the Christmas lights on Orchard Road already lit, consumer sentiment does not appear to be glowing brightly as we head into the Christmas season. Retail sales and consumer activity could well prove to be a dampener on the season, given overarching concerns that supply-side restructuring is obviously engendering," added Mr Maguire.