Singapore’s economy expanded more than economists estimated last quarter as manufacturing rebounded and services strengthened, reducing pressure on the central bank to ease monetary policy and bolster growth.
Gross domestic product rose an annualized 15.2 percent in the three months through June from the previous quarter, when it grew 1.8 percent, the Trade Ministry said in a statement today. That exceeded all 12 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey, where the median was for an 8.1 percent expansion.
Rising local demand has shielded some Asian nations from an uneven global recovery, with Singapore’s jobless rate near a five-year low spurring private consumption. The Monetary Authority of Singapore has let its dollar weaken about 3 percent against the greenback in the past six months, boosting the island’s export competitiveness, even after sticking to a policy of allowing gradual currency gains in April to contain inflationary pressures.
“Going into the second half of the year, we should continue to see steady and gradual improvement in the services sector,” Irvin Seah, a Singapore-based economist at DBS Group Holdings Ltd., said before the report. “The risk on inflation and growth remains very well-balanced. There’s little incentive for the MAS to deviate from the current monetary policy.”
The Singapore dollar strengthened. It rose 0.3 percent to S$1.2583 against the U.S. currency as of 8:05 a.m. local time, from S$1.2597 before the release.
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