Singapore’s c bank likely to tighten monetary policy in April

Published: April 06, 2018 12:58:20 | Updated: April 09, 2018 14:27:14

File Photo (Collected)

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), central bank of the Asian country, is expected to tighten monetary policy in April for the first time in six years, reports Reuters.

A Reuters survey, predicted the MAS would tighten its exchange-rate based policy at its review, due on April 13 at 8:00 am (0000 GMT).

Twelve of 19 analysts, or 63 per cent of respondents in the survey, expect the MAS to slightly increase the appreciation rate of the Singapore dollar’s policy band from zero per cent—a “neutral” stance that the central bank has kept for the last two years.

The remaining seven analysts expect the MAS to keep policy unchanged.

The results include four additional responses compared to an earlier Reuters poll published on March 27, in which 60 per cent of analysts expected a tightening.

The government’s advance estimate of first-quarter gross domestic product, due at the same time, is expected to show that GDP expanded 1.0 per cent from the previous three months on an annualised basis, according to the median forecast in a Reuters survey.

On a year-on-year basis, GDP likely grew 4.3 per cent, which would be the fastest pace since a near four-year high of 5.5 per cent in the third quarter of last year.

The solid growth momentum and signs of improvement in the labour market are seen as outweighing the risks from US-China trade tensions, and putting the MAS on track to tighten policy for the first time since April 2012.

The central bank has kept the appreciation rate of the Singapore dollar’s policy band at zero per cent since April 2016.

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