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12 October 2009

Singapore central bank keeps ‘zero-appreciation’ policy

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The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said on Monday it will maintain its current policy of zero appreciation of the Singapore dollar, reported the city-state’s TV broadcaster and news website Channel News Asia.

It said it will continue to be vigilant over developments in the external environment, including the medium-term risk of stronger global inflationary pressures.

Looking ahead, the central bank said the Singapore economy is not expected to sustain the strong pace of expansion seen in second and third quarter of this year.

While prospects for the external economies have improved, final demand in Singapore's key export markets, including IT products, has yet to recover decisively.

Significant challenges remain in the transition to private sector-driven growth as governments prepare to exit from their expansionary policies.

Household spending, particularly in the US, continues to be constrained by weak labour market, sluggish income growth and lower housing wealth. Businesses also remain cautious in their investment decisions.

Against this backdrop, the Singapore economy is likely to settle at a more gradual pace of expansion.

MAS said gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2010 is expected to be slower than in previous post-recession periods. Consumer price index (CPI) inflation is likely to be around 0 per cent in 2009, before rising to 1 to 2 per cent in 2010.


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