MAS to keep ex­change rate pol­icy un­changed

The New Paper - - BUSINESS -

The Mone­tary Author­ity of Sin­ga­pore (MAS) opted to stand pat on its ex­change rate pol­icy even though thirdquar­ter eco­nomic growth came in at its fastest in more than three years.

But econ­o­mists say the MAS’ lat­est pol­icy state­ment strikes a more up­beat note about Sin­ga­pore’s eco­nomic prospects and could point to a pol­icy shift next April.

The econ­omy ex­panded 4.6 per cent in the third quar­ter com­pared with the same pe­riod a year ear­lier, beat­ing econ­o­mist fore­casts of 3.8 per cent growth. It is also the fastest quar­terly ex­pan­sion since 2014.

Along­side th­ese num­bers the MAS’ lat­est mone­tary pol­icy state­ment — also out yes­ter­day — an­nounced that the cen­tral bank is keep­ing its pol­icy stance un­changed.

The Sing­dol­lar pol­icy band is on a “neu­tral” pol­icy stance put in place in April last year amid slow growth and low in­fla­tion.

Now that growth has picked up, some had ex­pected MAS to tighten pol­icy. It opted to stand pat, but re­ferred to com­ments it made in Oc­to­ber last year that the neu­tral pol­icy stance would be ap­pro­pri­ate for an “ex­tended pe­riod”.

This time, it did not ex­plic­itly re­peat the phrase in its lat­est state­ment.

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