Despite the Economy Shrinking, Singapore Refrains From Monetary Easing

Singapore’s central bank unexpectedly refrained from easing monetary policy even as the economy contracted last quarter, saying inflation will remain elevated for some time.  The island’s dollar climbed.

Gross domestic product fell an annualized 1.5 percent in the three months through September from the previous quarter, when it expanded a revised 0.2 percent, the Trade Ministry said in a statement today. The median estimate of 16 economists in a Bloomberg News survey was for a 1.6 percent contraction. The central bank, which uses the currency to manage inflation, said it will maintain a modest and gradual appreciation of the dollar.

Singapore joins Asian nations from China to India in limiting monetary stimulus as they guard against inflation risks even as fiscal austerity in the euro area to fight the region’s debt crisis weighs on the world economy. The International Monetary Fund this week cut its projections for global expansion this year and next, saying it sees “alarmingly high” risks of a steeper slowdown.

via Bloomberg

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