Slow Export Growth Is Anticipated This Year as Shipments Decreased In March

In February, the export growth of Singapore decreased and this decline continued in March. However, there was some improvement in the growth rate of export.

There has been a decrease in the non-oil domestic exports of 2.7%. Partially, the reason for the decline was the last year’s high base. This was lower than what the economists’ anticipated, as they were expecting an increase of 1.2%.

This 2.7% figure was good in comparison to the reduction of 6% in the last month. The decline in February was the first after a growth period of 4 months. Due to the Chinese New Year holidays, there were less working days in February. This was the reason for the 6% decrease in February. In 2017, Chinese New Year was in January.

On monthly basis, the non-oil domestic exports have declined by 1.8%, but this fall in exports is less than 2.7%. There has been a reduction in the rate of electronic and non-electronic non-oil domestic exports. Fortunately, the rate of reduction was slower.

Moreover, in March 2018, electronic non-oil domestic exports contracted by 7.1%. In the previous month, the rate was 12.7%. Though there was an improvement in the figure, it has been 4th month of decline. On the other hand, the non-electronic non-oil domestic exports fell by 1.3% in March. In February, the decrease was nearly 3.3 %.

For wholesale trade, the non-oil re-exports are considered as an alternative. There was a little decrease in March of 0.2%, while there was a 0.1% growth in the previous month. In February, the non-electronic re-exports increased whereas, the electronic re-exports fell.

In March 2018, there has been a rise in the shipment to the major top markets. The increase in the shipment was to European Union, the US, and Japan. Some of the markets were not included, they are Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, and China.

According to the expert economists, the decline in the electronic shipments was a not a shock. This is because the decrease was anticipated as a consequence of high base.
Mr. Bernard Aw, IHS Markit, mentioned that it matches the reports of shrinking growth in electronic sales worldwide. He continued saying that the increasing danger of international trade war is giving a rise to the ambiguity about trade situation. This trade war has a direct impact on the economy of Singapore. Since Singapore’s economy is dependent on trade, it may bring a bad news.
Furthermore, the economists believe the shipments will increase in coming months, but a slower rate than the previous year.

Lee Ju Ye and Chua Hak Bin, economists of Maybank stated that the exports and manufacturing growth will be positive, but will keep on reducing.

According to the economist at UOB, Francis Tan, the last year’s great rates of export might not continue in the in the coming months of 2018.


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