Singapore Raises 2009 Economic Forecast

Asia’s recovery has been further strengthened by Singapore’s move to raise its economic forecast after gross domestic product expanded for a second consecutive quarter, says Bloomberg.


In a statement sent to Bloomberg, Singapore’s trade ministry says that economy will shrink 2% to 2.5% this year, less than an earlier forecast for a contraction of 4% to 6%. GDP expanded an annualized 14.9% last quarter from the previous three months, the second consecutive expansion.


According to Bloomberg, Singapore’s benchmark stock index has surged 51% this year as a rebound in manufacturing helped the nation emerge from its worst recession since independence in 1965.


“Singapore is always the first in the region to provide a reliable GDP report so a strong reading would be a positive sign for other outcomes in the region,” Matthew Hildebrandt, an economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Singapore, told Bloomberg


Bloomberg says economists forecast that Singapore would delay any change in its currency policy until April. The government is expected to announce this week if it will continue paying companies to retain workers.


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