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Experts predict SG economy’s growth to be faster than expected in 2021 

Manufacturing, non-oil domestic exports, finance and insurance raise hopes

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Singapore—A survey by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) showed on Monday (June 14) that the economy is expected to expand faster than it was originally predicted.

This is largely due to an increased pace of growth in manufacturing, non-oil domestic exports, and finance and insurance, which outweighs the slower growth in other sectors.

Twenty-four economists and analysts participated in the latest quarterly survey, said MAS, adding that the results from the survey are not representative of the views of the central bank.

MAS’ survey of external professional forecasters shows that they expect the country’s gross domestic product to grow by 6.5 per cent this year, which is higher than the 5.8 per cent predicted last March.

Moreover, for this year, economists have increased their growth forecast for the manufacturing sector from 4.7 per cent to 8.3 per cent. As for finance and insurance, expansion is now being forecast at 6 per cent, up from the previous 5.8 per cent. In line with this, they also predict that non-oil domestic exports will expand by 7.5 per cent, as opposed to the earlier forecast of 6.9 per cent.

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However, forecasts have been lowered for private consumption growth (from 7.9 per cent to 5.2 per cent), construction (from 22.5 per cent to 19.3 per cent), as well as wholesale and retail trade (from 4.5 per cent to 4.4 per cent) and for accommodation and food services (from 11 per cent to 6.5 per cent).

The economists and analysts surveyed said that the biggest downside risk to the country’s growth outlook is the recent surge in and the tightening of measures, but they also made special mention of the global situation, including tensions between the United States and China.

But the most frequently cited upside factor for growth outlook has been the effective measures against the pandemic, as well as the robust of the manufacturing industry, responsible for around 20 per cent of the country’s economy, which has been fuelled by the demand for electronics worldwide.

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