Economists cut Singapore 2014 GDP growth forecast to 3.3 pct - MAS survey

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SINGAPORE (Sept 10): Economists have lowered their Singapore 2014 economic growth forecasts compared with three months ago, following a slowdown in the city-state's growth in the second quarter, a central bank survey released on Wednesday showed.

The median forecast of 22 economists surveyed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) was for gross domestic product to expand 3.3 percent this year, down from expectations for 3.8 percent growth in a survey published in June.    

The lowering of economists' growth forecasts came after data last month showed that Singapore's economy just narrowly avoided shrinking in April-June, on a quarterly basis, in a sharp slowdown from growth in the first quarter.    

In August, the government narrowed its full-year growth projection to 2.5-3.5 percent, from 2-4 percent previously. Singapore's economy grew 3.9 percent in 2013.

The latest MAS survey showed that economists now see non-oil domestic exports falling 1.1 percent in 2014, a reversal from their previous expectation for 4.1 percent growth.

Economists also trimmed their growth forecasts for the manufacturing and construction sectors, as well as for wholesale and retail trade.

The median forecast for core inflation came in at 2.2 percent, down from 2.4 percent in the previous survey.

The MAS has said it expects CPI-all items inflation to come in at 1.5-2.0 percent in 2014, while core inflation is projected at 2-3 percent this year.  

Summary of forecasts:

Latest survey     Previous
GDP                                   3.3            3.8
- manufacturing                       4.2            5.6
- financial services                  5.5            5.5
- construction                        4.7            5.6
- wholesale and retail trade          2.6            4.9
Private consumption                   2.0            2.7
Non-oil domestic exports              -1.1           4.1
CPI-All items                         1.8            2.2
MAS core inflation                    2.2            2.4
exchange rate (end of period,        1.265           1.27
SGD per USD)