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Economists maintain Singapore's 2017 growth forecast: MAS

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Those polled said that they expect the economy to grow 2.5 per cent this year, unchanged from their forecast in June.

PRIVATE-SECTOR economists have maintained their growth forecast for Singapore's economy for 2017, said a quarterly survey released by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Wednesday.

Those polled said that they expect the economy to grow 2.5 per cent this year, unchanged from their forecast in June.

They also predicted that gross domestic product (GDP) will expand by 3.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2017.

Singapore's economy expanded by a quicker-than-expected 2.9 per cent in the second quarter, above the analysts' earlier forecast of 2.7 per cent reported in June.

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The government has estimated growth this year to be one to 3 per cent, with it likely to come in higher than 2 per cent.

Non-oil domestic exports are expected to post the greatest growth of 7.4 per cent, up from 5.6 per cent in the June survey.

Manufacturing follows with projections of continued improvement to 6.6 per cent growth - up from economists' earlier forecast of 5 per cent.

The finance and insurance industry is estimated to expand by 2.9 per cent, higher than the previous prediction of 1.9 per cent.

The forecast for wholesale retail and trade was raised to 1.3 per cent, up from June's projection of 1.1 per cent, while that of private consumption was cut to 0.6 per cent from 1.1 per cent.

Economists believe the construction sector will shrink by 4.2 per cent, a stark revision from the 0.2 per cent growth forecast earlier.

Likewise, the accommodation and food services sector is expected to shrink by 1.5 per cent, a revision from the previous one per cent growth.

For Q3, the consumer price index (CPI) inflation and MAS core inflation are expected to come in at 0.7 per cent and 1.7 per cent, respectively.

For the year, the median CPI-all items inflation forecast edged down slightly to 0.8 per cent from the 0.9 per cent reported in the last survey.

Respondents expect core inflation to edge up to 1.6 per cent in 2017, from the previous 1.5 per cent.

Unemployment rate has been lowered to 2.2 per cent at year-end, from 2.4 per cent.

The September 2017 survey reflects the views received from 21 respondents.

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