SINGAPORE (Dec 31): With the US poised for a slowdown, what does this mean for Singapore’s economy in 2019? Morgan Stanley economist Deyi Tan says it is inevitable that the city state will follow suit. “I think there is no avoiding the situation that Singapore’s GDP growth will also slow down.”  

But Tan thinks the difference between 2019 and previous late phases of the economic cycle is that there could be some support from the property sector, resulting from the spate of en bloc activity seen in the past few quarters. “Construction has begun and this tends to filter into the construction capital expenditure numbers with a lag. We think this would show up more evidently in the numbers next year,” she explains.

Bank of America-Merrill Lynch also thinks Singapore will suffer in tandem with the global slowdown, given its “small and open economy”. The bank estimates that Singapore’s GDP growth will decline from 3.3% in 2018 to 2.8% in 2019 and 2.5% in 2020. Nevertheless, BOAML notes that there are several “defensive qualities” to Singapore’s resilience. 

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