MAS says monetary policy remains appropriate

[SINGAPORE] Singapore's central bank said monetary policy remains appropriate and the Wednesday's revised government growth forecast was within the scope of the monetary authority's October policy decision, a senior official said on Wednesday.

Gross domestic product (GDP) rose an annualised 1.9 per cent in the third quarter from the prior quarter on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said.

That was far better than the government's advance estimate issued in October of 0.1 per cent growth. The median forecast in a Reuters survey was for a flat quarter.

Jacqueline Loh, Deputy Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, said MAS's inflation forecasts had not changed in the light of the revised GDP figure.

MAS core inflation is expected to come in at 0.5-1.5 per cent in 2016, compared to around 0.5 per cent in 2015. Headline inflation is projected to average between -0.5 and +0.5 per cent in 2016, compared to around -0.5 per cent this year.

Earlier, the MTI said it expects the economy to grow by "close to 2.0 per cent" in 2015 and by 1.0-3.0 per cent in 2016.


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