Business

MAS to keep exchange rate policy unchanged

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) opted to stand pat on its exchange rate policy even though third-quarter 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. - THE STRAITS TIMES

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