The Singapore economy is set to contract in the first quarter as escalation in the COVID-19 situation poses downside risk to outlook, according to the quarterly Survey of Professional Forecasters published by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, released Wednesday.
Gross domestic product is expected to fall 0.8 percent in the first quarter. The growth projection for 2020 was downgraded to 0.6 percent from 1.5 percent. Then the growth is forecast to improve to 2 percent in 2021.
Respondents cited the spread of coronavirus, trade tensions and the outcome of the upcoming US elections as major downside risks to the outlook. Overall inflation and MAS core inflation were expected to come in at 0.7 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively, in the first quarter. The median inflation for 2020 as a whole was forecast to be 0.8 percent, down from 0.9 percent in the December survey.
Respondents forecast the jobless rate to be 2.4 percent at the year-end versus 2.3 percent projected in December.