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Singapore GDP Likely To Expand Less Than Estimate, Says MAS Chief

Singapore's economic growth forecast for this year is likely to be revised down as downside risks to growth clearly increased, Monetary Authority of Singapore's Managing Director Ravi Menon said Thursday.

Growth in the first half of the year is looking to be quite weak, particularly in the trade-related sectors, he said at the MAS' annual report media conference.

The full-year growth forecast of 1.5-2.5 percent is premised on the economy stabilizing in the third quarter, with a moderate pickup thereafter, Menon noted.

However, the given the softer global environment and ongoing trade conflict, the strength of the pickup is unlikely to offset the weakness in the first half, the banker observed.

Moreover, "downside risks have clearly increased," Menon said.

Inflation for this year is projected to be between 0.5 and 1.5 percent. According to MAS chief, monetary policy stance remains appropriate against the backdrop of subdued inflation and weakening growth prospects.

He concluded that "we need to be alert but there is no need to be alarmed."

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