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.
Author: Oliver Reynolds, Economist