Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/31/2014 -- Singapore's ongoing restructuring drive continues, and the PAPled government is highly unlikely to abandon its path even amid an increasingly tight labour market. While this will have an economic impact over the near to medium term, we note that electoral factors have become progressively more important in the government's policy-making process.
Despite a slowdown in Q413, the Singaporean economy picked up pace in 2013, achieving a real expansion of 3.7% (according to initial government estimates) versus 1.3% in 2012. While we continue to believe that Singapore will chalk up solid real GDP growth of 3.2% in 2014, we note that Singapore does bear risks to a slowing Chinese economy as well as a potential credit retrenchment following a period of extremely strong lending. That said, we stress that Singapore's economy remains on a solid footing overall, and our long-term outlook remains sanguine.
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Major Forecast Changes
Despite the fact that headline inflation ended 2013 on a weak note, coming in at 1.5% y-o-y in December, we expect rising wage pressures as well as weak base effects within the transportation sub-index to push headline inflation higher as 2014 develops. As a result, we have upgraded our 2014 average inflation forecast to 2.8%, from 2.5% previously.
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