SINGAPORE (AP) - Singapore's economy is likely to grow 6 percent this year, at the center of the government's target range, led by robust expansion in the services sector and modest growth in manufacturing, a quarterly central bank survey of economists showed Tuesday.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore's survey shows economists have upgraded their outlook for the economy from March's median growth forecast of 5.4 percent.
The upgrade comes after the economy expanded a faster-than-expected 6.1 percent from a year earlier in the first quarter, led by surprising strength in services and construction that offset weak industrial production.
The new forecasts indicate the shift in growth drivers will hold through the year, as economists lowered manufacturing growth targets but upped their expectations for services and construction.
Manufacturing is expected to grow 6.6 percent in 2007, slower than the 7.4 percent forecast in the March survey. Financial services, however, is now expected to expand 10.2 percent versus the previous forecast of 7.6 percent. The construction industry is also expected to grow by 10 percent, faster than the previous forecast of 4.8 percent.
The government raised its economic growth forecast for 2007 to a range of 5-7 percent from 4.5-6.5 percent when it issued the first-quarter gross domestic product figures.
The late May survey of 16 forecasters shows economists are expecting the economy to grow a median 6.1 percent on year in the second quarter, matching the first quarter's growth rate.
For 2008, the forecast for economic growth rose to 5.8 percent from 5.5 percent in the March survey. The government hasn't issued an official growth target for 2008.