Singapore rising: GDP growth to continue

Advance Estimates released today by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) show the city-state’s economy has expanded by 0.2% (year-on-year) in the first quarter of this year.

It’s the first positive quarter of GDP growth recorded in Singapore since the fourth quarter of 2019.

The economic expansion has defied the consensus expectations of economists. A poll conducted by Reuters last week showed economists tipping GDP would decline by -0.2% in the first three months of 2021.

Amid the COIVD-19 pandemic in 2020, Singapore’s economy fell into recession for the first time since the global financial crisis. There was a record -41.2% contraction in GDP in the second quarter of the year, before the full-year 2020 GDP decline came in at -5.8%.

At the height of the COIVD-19 crisis Singapore was regularly recording over 1000 new daily cases.

MAS now expects Singapore’s GDP growth for 2021 to exceed the upper end of the official 4–6% forecast range, barring any setbacks in the global economy.

“The negative output gap in the economy will narrow through the course of 2021. However, significant uncertainties remain, including the possibility of further virus mutations and premature relaxation of social restrictions by governments, which could derail the global and domestic recovery,” noted the Monetary Authority in its April policy statement.

In further good news for the country – which plays a major role as an international travel and logistics hub – Government officials have signalled international travel in and out of the country will soon recommence.

A recent report by Asia Markets also revealed DBS Wealth Management is tipping the nation’s commercial property sector to recover this year.