Singapore Economic Outlook
Revised data showed that GDP growth nearly halved to 2.1% year on year in Q4. The manufacturing sector shrank on weaker overseas demand, while the expansion in services slowed. In contrast, the construction sector saw double-digit growth thanks to stronger public and private construction output. Turning to Q1, non-oil domestic exports, the manufacturing PMI and the electronics PMI ticked up in January from December. In the remainder of the quarter, both services and goods exports should benefit from China’s economic reopening. In February, the government announced that the 2023 budget would see the fiscal deficit narrow from an expected 0.3% of GDP in FY 2022 to 0.1% in FY 2023. The budget is fiscally progressive, with extra handouts for lower and middle-income households counterbalanced by higher taxes on property and luxury cars.
Consumer price inflation came in at 6.5% in December, down from November’s 6.7% and marking the lowest rate since May. Inflation will decelerate this year on softer external price pressures but will remain elevated by historical standards amid an increase in the goods and services tax from January, strong wage growth, rising visitor numbers and buoyant housing demand.