Singapore's economy will likely expand at a record pace this year as a surge in demand for the city-state's exports fuels manufacturing, according to a central bank survey of analysts.
The city-state's gross domestic product will likely grow 14.9 percent this year, according to the median forecast of 20 economists in the quarterly survey, the Monetary Authority of Singapore said Wednesday.
In the previous survey in June, analysts had expected the economy would grow 9 percent this year.
Singapore's economy — which relies on trade, finance and tourism — will likely be led this year by a 29 percent expansion of the manufacturing sector as non-oil exports soar 20 percent, according to the analysts.
The government boosted its 2010 growth forecast in July to a range of 13 percent to 15 percent after the economy expanded 18 percent in the first half from a year earlier.
Analysts expect financial services to grow 10.6 percent this year, construction to rise 10 percent this year and wholesale and retail trade to expand 16 percent, according to the survey.
The opening earlier this year of Singapore's first two casino-resorts — built by Malaysia's Genting Bhd and Las Vegas Sands Corp. — has helped attract record visitors and fuel tourist spending.
The two resorts will likely contribute 0.7 percentage points of this year's 15 percent gross domestic product growth while indirectly helping the economy by boosting job creation and retail spending, DBS bank said in a report.
Visitor arrivals to Singapore grew 24 percent in July from a year earlier to a record 1.1 million.
Singapore's economy will also benefit this year from hosting international sporting events, such as last month's Youth Olympics and the F1 race later this month.
Visa said spending on its credit, debit and prepaid cards rose 38 percent during the two weeks of the Youth Olympics from a year earlier.
Analysts said the economy is likely to grow 11.6 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, 12.6 percent in the fourth, and 5 percent next year.
The inflation rate will probably rise to 2.9 percent this year, the unemployment rate will be 2.2 percent and the exchange rate will average 1.350 Singapore dollars per U.S. dollar, little changed from the June survey, the analysts expect.
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