Singapore records growths in Q1
According to the Review of First Quarter 2018 Trade Performance, Singapore's total merchandise trade grew by 2.5 percent year on year in the first quarter, to 241.5 billion Singapore dollars ($179.71 billion), as both oil and non-oil trade rose.
The growth was compared to the 7.8 percent increase in the previous quarter, the Review says.
It says Singapore's oil trade increased by 5.1 percent to in the quarter amid higher oil prices than a year ago, after the 27.7 percent growth in the previous quarter. Non-oil trade rose by 1.9 percent in the period, following the previous quarter's 3.6 percent increase.
The Review adds that Singapore's non-oil domestic exports were projected to grow firmly between 1 and 3 percent this year, while the total merchandise trade would grow in the range between 3 percent and 5 percent.
Meanwhile, Singapore's total services trade rose by 4.7 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2018, to 116.6 billion Singapore dollars. This extended the 4.1 percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2017.
The Review attributes the total services trade growth to the better performances in both services exports and imports, which increased 6.1 percent and 3.4 percent year on year respectively.
It also attributes the growth in services exports to the increase in exports of financial services, transport services and receipts from charges for the use of intellectual property, which grew 11.5 percent, 5.6 percent and 20.2 percent, respectively.
Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) announced on Thursday that the country's gross domestic product (GDP) forecast for the whole year of 2018 was ranged from 2.5 to 3.5 percent, compared to the 1.5 to 3.5 percent announced previously.
The ministry said global economy has remained on a steady expansionary path since the start of the year, with full-year growth expected to improve slightly as compared to 2017.
Meanwhile, the pace of growth in the Singapore economy was expected to remain firm in 2018, with growth supported primarily by outward-oriented sectors, it added.
Therefore, the MTI now expects the growth to come in at 2.5-3.5 percent, barring the full materialization of downside risks. ■