The 24 economists and analysts surveyed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore have become more optimistic in the March polling, with the median forecast of 2018 GDP growth at 3.2%, up from 3% in the December survey. But that is a moderation from the actual expansion of 3.6% in 2017.
The upgrade is primarily due to brighter expectations in finance and insurance, wholesale and trade, accomodation and foood, and private consumption. These are sunrise industry sectors that CFOs should look at as they refine their company's strategic priorities in 2018.
But finance leaders should expect headwinds in manufacturing, a sector that the forecasters are now less bullish on compared with the December survey, along with non-oil domestic exports. The number of respondents worried about trade protectionism has surged to 88%, from 40% in the December survey.
Still, expectations on the unemployment rate in 2018 remain low at 2.1%. Inflation is also expected to hold at 1% for the consumer price index and 1.6% for core inflation.