Singapore Central Bank Sees Steady Growth Amid Increasing Risks

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(Bloomberg) -- Singapore’s central bank sees “steady growth amid rising uncertainty,” holding onto projections for robust domestic and global demand in 2018 and betting that trade tensions won’t spoil the party.

The global economy will expand 4.5 percent this year, according to the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s twice-yearly review released Friday. That would match last year’s rate that was the fastest since 2011.

Singapore’s economy is set to grow “slightly above” the middle of the 1.5 percent to 3.5 percent forecast range in 2018 after 3.6 percent in 2017, according to MAS, reiterating projections made this month.

“The direct impact from tariff actions announced thus far should be limited,” according to the report. At the same time, “a loss of confidence could quickly dampen economic growth and pose some downside risk to Singapore’s economic growth outlook.”

For now, Singapore’s exports outlook is holding up as data shows traffic at Singapore’s ports is at its strongest since at least 2010. The MAS sees the surge in electronics shipments last year being sustained. Memory chip-makers and other parts of the semiconductors industry are especially well-positioned for growth, according to the report.

The central bank repeated its view that inflation will remain in the upper half of the 1 percent to 2 percent forecast range this year. Wage growth should pick up as the labor market continues to heal, allowing for 3.5 percent growth in paychecks after 3 percent last year, the policy makers predicted.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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