Singapore exports continue to surge in May
May’s reading marked the fastest expansion since October last year, and was underpinned by greater demand from the EU, the U.S. and Japan.
The rise was driven by greater non-electronic exports—particularly of civil engineering equipment parts, pharmaceuticals and food preparations.
However, there are doubts over whether the strong export performance will be maintained going forward, as the pharmaceutical sector—which has powered growth over the last two months—is highly volatile.
Moreover, the important electronics sector saw exports decline year-on-year for the sixth consecutive month in May.
After being a major driver of export growth for much of 2017 thanks to booming world trade, this year’s performance 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% growth.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see overall nominal exports expanding 7.5% in 2018, which would bring exports to a total of $425 billion.
For 2019, the panel sees exports growing 5.4% and reaching a total of $448 billion.
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. ■