Given this year’s stable growth and inflation, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced its intent to maintain “modest and gradual appreciations” in the currency policy band to mitigate risks of price fluctuation.

The announcement was made on April 14 after the MAS’s surprising move to ease its monetary policy in January, which led to the island dollar’s weakest point since 2010 against the US dollar.

The bank also expected national gross domestic product (GDP) to grow by 2 to 4 percent by the end of this year.

The same day, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) estimated an annual 2.1 percent growth rate in the first quarter, higher than an earlier 1.8-percent forecast in a Reuters’ economist poll.

The economy grew 1.1 percent from the previous three months on an annual and seasonally-adjusted basis, well below that of the last quarter of 2014 with 4.9-percent GDP growth, said the MTI.

The manufacturing sector continued to drag down quarter one GDP due to its 3.4 percent output reduction from 2014 while the service and construction sectors expanded annually by 3.1 and 3.3 percent, respectively.-VNA