Singapore Trade August 2018


Singapore: Export growth slackens in August

September 17, 2018

Non-oil domestic exports (NODX) increased 5.0% in August in annual terms, down from July’s revised 11.0% expansion (previously reported: +11.8% yoy) but overshooting market expectations. On a month-on-month seasonally adjusted basis, exports rose 0.4%, down from July’s 3.6% expansion.

August’s figure was once more supported by surging pharmaceutical exports, along with greater exports of prepared food and measuring instruments, and stronger demand from the U.S, the EU and Indonesia. On the other hand, the important electronic sector saw exports decline year-on-year for the ninth consecutive month. After being a major driver of export growth for much of 2017 thanks to booming world trade, the performance of electronic exports so far in 2018 is being affected in part by tough year-on-year comparatives.

Recent export growth has been underpinned by a narrow group of sub-sectors—particularly the volatile pharmaceuticals sub-sector—meaning a further slowdown in export growth is possible going forward. Softening Chinese demand and the potential for an escalation of the tariff war between the U.S. and China are key downside risks to Singapore’s export performance.

Singapore Trade Balance Forecast

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see overall nominal exports expanding 8.0% in 2018 and imports growing 9.4%, with the trade surplus reaching USD 86.8 billion. For 2019, panelists see exports growing 3.7% and imports climbing 4.0%, with the trade surplus totaling USD 89.0 billion.

Author:, Economist

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Singapore Trade Chart

Singapore Trade August 2018

Note: Year-on-year and seasonally-adjusted month-on-month variation of non-oil domestic exports in %.
Source: Statistics Singapore (Singstat) and International Enterprise (IE) Singapore and FocusEconomics calculations.

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