Taylor Swift

SINGAPORE: Economists raised Singapore’s GDP forecasts, with some saying it was due to Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour concerts.

According to a Bloomberg survey, gross domestic product (GDP) likely expanded by 2.9% in the three months ending March 31, marking the fastest pace in six quarters.

The Business Times reports that the uptick in growth has also led economists to revise their annual growth expectations, now anticipating a 2.5% increase compared to the previously projected 2.3%. This places Singapore’s growth towards the upper end of the government’s forecast range of 1% to 3% for 2024.

The Singapore leg of Taylor Swift’s Eras tour, which includes six concerts until March 9, has been identified as contributing to this economic boost.

DBS economist Mr Han Teng Chua suggests that the concerts have spurred activity in Singapore’s hospitality, food & beverage, and retail sectors.

Mr Chua explains, “These would be mainly supported by higher foreign tourist spending, with a large number of overseas fans attending the Singapore concerts.

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He estimates that the shows could add approximately S$300 million to S$400 million, or 0.2 percentage points of GDP, to Singapore’s economy in the first quarter alone.

Despite the positive outlook driven by the concerts and other factors, the Singaporean economy still faces challenges, including tight global interest rates, China’s uneven recovery, and lingering geopolitical risks.

Mr Shivaan Tandon, an economist at Capital Economics, said:

We expect renewed weakness in the first half as slower global growth curtails activity in Singapore’s export-oriented economy.

However, he remains optimistic, suggesting that growth will likely pick up more sustainably from the year’s second half.

/TISG

Read also: Singapore’s 2023 GDP growth 1.1% slightly lower than earlier estimates; 2024 forecast maintains 1 to 3%