After the last few years plagued with an unprecedented pandemic, geopolitical tensions, and China’s lacklustre growth, Singapore’s economic outlook may finally see a glimmer of hope in the coming year.
According to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), local economic growth in 2024 is forecasted to increase, and the inflation rate will ease off more significantly. As the demand for Singapore’s exports recovers and the Federal Reserve stabilises interest rates, the year ahead could mark the turning point for Singapore’s financial growth.
Singapore Growth and Inflation Forecast For 2024
There are a few key factors to highlight when discussing Singapore’s economic outlook in 2024:
- Singapore GDP growth for 2024 is forecasted at 1% to 3%
- Singapore 2024 headline inflation rate is projected at 3.4% and core inflation at an average of 4%
- Food and Beverage (F&B), Travel-related, Electronics, Manufacturing and Trade-related industries are growing sectors in Singapore for 2024. Other sectors like Banking and Financial and Commodity Supplies may continue to face challenges
Singapore Economic Outlook for 2024
Singapore’s GDP growth for 2024 is forecasted at 1% to 3% per cent in 2024, up from 1% in 2023 (as at 27 November 2023). For the most part of 2023, Singapore’s economy was subdued by demands from global markets. The Manufacturing and Trade-related sectors such as Precision Engineering and Water Transport had remained relatively weak while Travel and Tourism-related sectors attempted to recover with travel-revenge surge and re-emergence of Chinese tourists.
The coming year may see more industries showing signs of improvement as global markets rebalance themselves with better US-China bilateral relations. The Financial Services sector is likely to enjoy modest recovery with possible rate cuts in the second half of 2024.
Singapore Inflation in 2024
Singapore 2024 headline inflation rate is projected at 3.4%, much lower 4% (as of August 2023). Also known as CPI-All Items inflation which measures the total inflation within an economy, including commodities such as food and energy prices, the lower forecast for 2024 took into consideration that private transport inflation and increase in COE quotas should remain moderate. The stabilisation of housing supply will also rebalance property prices going forward.
Core inflation is projected at an average of 4% because global prices for food commodities, intermediate and final goods should start to moderate with easing supplies. Labour costs are expected to stagnate alongside the gradually cooling labour market.
Industries That Shine or Shrink in 2024
Electronics is one of the growing sectors in Singapore for 2024. The output has shown signs of improvement since the third quarter 2023 and expected to experience greater demand in global semiconductor sales and medium-term optimism on AI-related chips. As a result, the financial growth/projection of the manufacturing and trade-related sectors in Singapore are expected to improve in tandem.
Likewise, F&B and Travel-related industries that have been enjoying tremendous growth post-pandemic will continue to rise. However, the pace may be more moderate as the revenge travel phenomenon starts to cool off.
On the other hand, sectors like Banking and Financial and Commodity Supplies may continue to face challenges. The uncertainty of how long the Central Bank will maintain the current high interest rates as well as escalation of geopolitical conflicts will continue to disrupt raw material supplies and slow down global growth and trade.
What To Expect for Bonds, REITs and Other Asset Classes
When it comes to investment, the Federal Reserve’s next moves in 2024 can bring a lot of uncertainty to the volatility of various asset classes. Bonds, for example, may regain popularity when interest rates come down. Goldman Sachs even went as far as to name 2024 “the year of the bond”.
Because bond prices and interest rates have an inverse relationship, if the Fed decides to cut interest rates, existing bonds with higher fixed interest rates will become more valuable, hence causing their prices to rise. If you are planning to rebalance your investment portfolio, keep a look out for bonds as they may provide healthy yields next year.
REITs have endured serious headwinds in the past few years due to rising interest rates. Higher interest rates had led to higher borrowing costs, lower property valuation and lower distributions for REITs. Comparatively, it was a lot less attractive than other asset classes when the external conditions were not right.
With the possibility of rate cuts and declining inflation in 2024, investing in REITs could become less challenging. In fact, the anticipation for rate cuts has recently led the S-REITs sector to gain 7.4% in total returns, the best months in three years. The upward momentum has continued into December. That said, REITs may be a viable option for investment portfolio diversification or simply to rebalance an existing portfolio.
When it comes to stocks, the trick is still to diversify your portfolio instead of buying into a specific company. The prospect of 2024 still remains unclear; hence the safest bet is to invest in equities across different industries or ETF funds that offer exposure across a long list of stocks. This will ensure that an unexpected price drop in one stock will not cause your entire portfolio to take a big hit.
2024 looks to be a promising year, and it may finally be a turning point for many. Whether you choose to make the most of the coming year by building your nest egg or investing, always scout the market for the best deals before you make a decision.
For starters, be sure you have a high-yield savings account to safekeep your funds and are using the right online brokerages to invest. Check out our roundup of the best savings accounts and best online brokerages to find the most suitable ones for you.
Cover image source: Unsplash
The article originally appeared on ValueChampion.
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