Singapore: Exports contract again in March
While the print reflected a more moderate contraction compared to the prior month’s revised 6.0% yoy drop (previously reported: -5.9% year-on-year), it contrasted market expectations of a slight 0.2% expansion.
The decline in exports came on the back of decreased overseas sales of both electronics and non-electronics; however, the decrease in NODX was partly due to a large base effect.
March’s drop came on the back of decreased demand from China, Hong Kong, Thailand and Malaysia offsetting stronger demand from the U.S., Japan and the EU.
The downturn was broad-based, with both sub-components recording a drop in export growth: Electronic products exports fell 7.1% on an annual basis, while non-electronic products exports dropped 1.3% yoy. Among electronic products, demand for parts of personal computers, integrated circuits and diodes and transistors fell sharply.
The month-on-month picture revealed that exports decreased 1.8% in seasonally-adjusted terms, a softer downturn than the prior month’s revised 2.7% drop (previously reported: -2.6% month-on-month seasonally-adjusted).
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see overall nominal exports expanding 5.8% in 2018, which would bring exports to a total of $419 billion.
For 2019, the panel sees exports growing 6.8% and reaching a total of $447 billion. ■