SINGAPORE: Singapore’s central bank said on Monday (Mar 23) it will release its monetary policy statement earlier on Mar 30, a move that drove its currency lower as easing bets firmed.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) usually releases its semi-annual policy statements in April and October.

First-quarter preliminary growth figures will also be released earlier than expected on Thursday, when Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat is due to unveil new measures to help firms and households weather the economic impact from the pandemic.

READ: DPM Heng Swee Keat to deliver ministerial statement on additional COVID-19 support measures

READ: Singapore cuts 2020 GDP forecast range to -0.5% to 1.5% due to COVID-19 outbreak

The Singapore dollar fell sharply to more than a 10-year low against the US dollar after the announcement. 

Earlier on Monday, data showed Singapore’s main price gauge slipped into deflation for the first time in over a decade.

All nine economists in a Reuters survey last week said they expect MAS to ease by changing the Singapore dollar’s pace of appreciation to a neutral “zero slope”. 

MAS manages policy through its currency rather than interest rates.

Five said it may take more drastic action by re-centering down the mid-point of the policy band in which the currency is allowed to trade – a move taken a decade ago during the global financial crisis. 

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