Singapore has a tradition of fiscal prudence with budget surpluses,
except during recessions. Fiscal rules do not allow a cumulative deficit
over the term of any one government. The budget for FY2013 ...
another overall fiscal surplus of S$2.4 billion, or 0.7% of GDP and lower
than what was recorded in FY2012 (Figure 3.29.8). Authorities expect
a slight decline in revenues, as receipts related to transport and the
property market fall in the next 2 years. Expenditures are likely to be
higher owing to increased outlays for higher education and health.
A slower pace of export growth and a relatively faster rise in imports—
as domestic demand expands with government social spending—will
likely narrow the current account surplus over the coming years. It is
forecast at 16% of GDP in 2013 and 15% in 2014, down from 19% in 2012
The high degree of uncertainty over the global economy poses the
highest risk to growth. As a trade-dependent city-state, Singapore will
remain at risk from the patchy developments in the US, protracted
sovereign-debt crisis in Europe, and moderation in PRC economic growth.
A sharp and abrupt correction in property values could cause substantial
bank losses, as housing loans account for 31% of total loans. However,
Singapore’s strong fiscal position, flexible labor market, well-capitalized
banking system, and substantial foreign exchange reserves can provide a
buffer, if any of these risks materialize.
Source: Ministry of Finance. www.mof.gov.sg, CEIC Data Company (accessed 6 March 2013)
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