Singapore: Non-oil exports rise at fastest pace in four months in December
Non-oil domestic exports (NODX) rose 6.8% on an annual basis in December, swinging sharply from November’s 5.0% decline. December’s rise was the sharpest since August and was above market expectations. As such, exports grew 4.3% over 2020 as a whole (2019: -9.2% year-on-year),
December’s upturn was spearheaded by strong growth in non-electronic exports in the month, while electronics shipments grew from a low base a year ago. In terms of markets, exports to the U.S. and Korea surged, while falling exports to China, the EU and Japan softened the overall improvement.
In seasonally-adjusted month-on-month terms, NODX exports rose 6.6% in December, accelerating from November’s 3.7% increase.
Looking ahead, Euben Paracuelles and Charnon Boonnuch, economists at Nomura, remain bullish regarding export growth in 2021:
“Overall, external demand should hold up in the near term and improve further in H2, when we expect more synchronized global growth. […] We maintain our 2021 GDP growth forecast of 7.5%, well above the consensus forecast of 5.9% and the official forecast range of 4-6%. Our forecast implies economic output will return to pre-Covid levels by Q2 2021, which is by far the fastest among ASEAN countries and reflects our more optimistic view on a recovery that is supported by a more successful containment of the local outbreak, an earlier vaccine pivot point (i.e., by Q2 2021) and rising global demand for electronics due to the tech upcycle and for pharmaceuticals due to vaccine manufacturing.”