The death of Singapore's founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, may have spurred an unusual side effect: the city-state's consumers now feel more confident about the future.
"Consumer confidence rose in April despite what we considered to be the considerable uncertainty over the impact on the Singaporean psyche," Glenn Maguire, chief economist for Southeast Asia at ANZ, said in a note Wednesday. "The passing of Mr. Lee has given Singaporeans an opportunity to reflect on all that has been achieved in the past fifty years."
The bank's ANZ-Roy Morgan Singapore consumer confidence index rose 1.2 points to 125.7 in April, above the long-term average of 121.7, mainly on greater confidence in the economic outlook for the year ahead, the note said.
Around 49 percent said they expect Singapore will have "good times" financially over the next 12 months, up two percentage points from the last reading and the highest since July 2014, the note said. Around 9 percent expect "bad times," down three percentage points. Over the longer term, 48 percent of respondents expect "good times" for the city-state over the next five years, up one percentage point.
That uptick in confidence comes as Singapore's export-dependent open economy, generally buffeted by the fortunes of larger economies globally, faces some uncertainty ahead amid slow growth in Europe and concerns over whether interest rates will begin to rise.