Singapore seen confirming third-quarter GDP contraction, Trump adds to risks
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People look out from the observation tower of the Marina Bay Sands amongst public and private residential apartment buildings in Singapore, February 22, 2016. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo
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SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore's economy is expected to have contracted at a less steeper pace than first estimated, but the city state remains at risk of a recession due to weak exports and uncertainty around global trade after Republican Donald Trump's U.S. election win.
A Reuters survey of 17 analysts forecast July-September gross domestic product (GDP) to be down 2.5 percent from the previous quarter on an annualized basis, versus the advance estimate of an unexpectedly sharp 4.1 percent contraction.
The upward revision was likely helped by industrial production in September exceeding forecasts, although the bigger picture for the affluent city state was one of intensifying headwinds in the wake of Trump's upset win.
"There is no good news around the corner for Singapore," said Trinh Nguyen, senior economist at French investment bank Natixis SA in Hong Kong. A sharp drop in exports in October suggests that the fourth quarter will be "tough", she added.
Singapore's central bank kept its exchange-rate based monetary policy unchanged at the semiannual policy meeting in October, but some analysts say the weak inflation and growth outlook will likely force policymakers to ease further at the next meeting due in April.
The win by Trump, who campaigned on a protectionist trade stance, has added another layer of uncertainty to the outlook for global trade and Asian economies.
"In terms of Trump, I think there's huge uncertainty surrounding what he will actually do," said Michael Wan, an economist for Credit Suisse.
"If you're a manufacturer wanting to set up a plant in Singapore or invest in new equipment in the (Asian) region, I think you will probably hold off on that," Wan said.
The third-quarter economic survey of Singapore, which contains detailed breakdowns of growth by industry, is due to be released on Thursday, Nov. 24 at 8 a.m. local time (0000 GMT).
Year-on-year GDP is expected to be revised to show 1.0 percent growth, according to the median forecast in the Reuters poll, exceeding the government's advance estimate of 0.6 percent expansion.
(Reporting by Masayuki Kitano; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
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