The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) is forecasting a higher gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 2.7% for Singapore this year, citing improved growth dynamics and the ongoing recovery in global trade.

In its latest Economic Insight: South East Asia report, the institute notes that the outlook for Asean’s economy remains cautiously optimistic as it builds on a positive growth story on the first quarter of the year.

Overall, ICAEW forecasts Southeast Asia to slip back towards 4.5% by 4Q17, with full year GDP growth to come in slightly higher than in 2016.

While Singapore’s 1Q growth contracted 1.3% q-o-q this year, the institute says this is understandable as a pullback from an impressive acceleration growth of 12.3% in 4Q17.

“Moving forward, sectors dependent on external factors can expect a brighter outlook. A modest recovery in business investment may soon be underway, as business loans rose to 8.1% year-on-year in Q1, the strongest growth in loans since 2014,” observes the institute…