Singapore: Exports rebound with vigor in April
As a result, the external sector strengthened following two consecutive months of soft readings.
The rise was driven by greater non-electronic exports—particularly of non-monetary goods, pharmaceuticals and food preparations.
However, although April’s growth figures are impressive, they should be taken with a pinch of salt, as pharmaceutical exports are highly volatile. Moreover, the important electronic sector saw exports decline year-on-year for the fifth consecutive month.
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. Greater demand from China, the EU and the U.S. underpinned April’s figure.
On a month-on-month seasonally adjusted basis, exports rose 6.5%, contrasting the previous month’s 2.2% decline.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see overall nominal exports expanding 7.2% in 2018, which would bring exports to a total of $424 billion.
For 2019, the panel sees exports growing 5.4% and reaching a total of $447 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. ■