Singapore: Non-oil exports post a second consecutive double-digit contraction in April
May 17, 2019
Non-oil domestic exports (NODX) decreased by 10.0% year-on-year in April, slightly less than March’s 11.8% drop. April’s fall significantly overshot market analysts’ expectations of a 6.0% contraction. On a month-on-month seasonally-adjusted basis, NODX declined 0.6% in April following March’s 14.3% reduction.
April’s result was caused by a 16.3% decrease in electronic NODX, compared to the 26.7% drop registered in March. Meanwhile, non-electronic NODX fell 7.9% in April, slightly worse than March’s 7.1% decline. The contraction in non-electronic NODX was largely driven by a drop-off in the volatile pharmaceutical sector and plummeting specialized machinery exports. In terms of markets, demand from the EU, Japan and China declined.
Following a contraction in the manufacturing sector in the first quarter, April’s NODX data suggests weak momentum in the sector could carry over to the second quarter. This is all the more likely given recent trade war escalations and the ongoing slowdown in global demand for technology.
Author: Steven Burke, Economist