Singapore Trade May 2018

Singapore

Singapore: Exports continue to surge in May but trade war fears threaten to cloud the outlook

June 18, 2018

Non-oil domestic exports (NODX) soared 15.5% in May, up from April’s 11.8% and easily beating market expectations.

The rise was driven by greater non-electronic exports—particularly of civil engineering equipment parts, food preparations and pharmaceuticals—and greater demand from the EU, the U.S. and Japan. However, although May’s growth figures are impressive, they should be interpreted with caution, as pharmaceutical exports are highly volatile. Moreover, the important electronic sector saw exports decline year-on-year for the sixth 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.

On a month-on-month seasonally adjusted basis, exports rose 10.3%, up from the previous month’s 6.5% rise.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see overall nominal exports expanding 8.7% in 2018 and 5.4% in 2019, with the trade surplus expected to total USD 84.4 billion in 2018 and USD 87.9 billion in 2019. However, if simmering trade tensions between the U.S. and China come to the boil, this could dampen the performance of Singapore’s export sector.


Author:, Economist

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Singapore Trade May 2018 1

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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