World News

DBS cuts Singapore’s 2020 growth forecast to 0.9% due to virus impact

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Singapore’s biggest bank DBS on Friday downgraded its forecast for the city-state’s 2020 growth rate to 0.9% from 1.4% previously, citing an expected economic hit from the new coronavirus epidemic which has spread to the city-state.

Singapore’s government has said it expects its economy to be dented this year, although it has not yet revised its official forecast range of 0.5-2.5%, while its central bank this week said its currency has room to weaken with the economy.

Singapore was one of the worst hit countries outside of China in the 2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) which killed 800 people globally.

“The impact from the virus outbreak could potentially be deeper than the previous SARS episode given the significantly stronger economic links with the China economy,” DBS senior economist Irvin Seah said in note, adding the outbreak would hit consumer and business sentiment, tourism, and the regional supply chain.

(Reporting by John Geddie; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)