Singapore’s exports rose less than estimated in January as manufacturers shipped fewer electronics and pharmaceutical goods.
Non-oil domestic exports gained 0.5% from a year earlier, after a 16.3% drop in December, the trade promotion agency said in a statement today. The median of 11 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey was for a 3% increase.
“It’s still looking a little bit subdued” outside of China, Euben Paracuelles, an economist at Nomura Holdings Inc. in Singapore, said before the report. The U.S. economy is still weak and Europe remains in a recession, he said.
Singapore’s export-dependent economy remains vulnerable to fluctuations in global demand as U.S. lawmakers wrangles over tax and spending programs and Europe continues to struggle with a debt crisis. The government forecasts exports will rise 2% to 4% in 2013, restrained by an uneven world recovery.
Data for overseas shipments and industrial production in Singapore for January and February may be distorted by the Chinese New Year holidays. Asian nations celebrated the Lunar New Year in January in 2012 and observed it in February this year, and factories from China to Vietnam typically shut and reduce production during the holiday.
The Singapore dollar was little changed at S$1.2385 against the U.S. currency as of 8:16 a.m. local time. It has dropped about 1.4% this year.
Singapore’s electronics shipments by companies such as Venture Corp. fell 5.6% in January from a year earlier, after slipping 19.1% the previous month.
Non-electronics shipments, which include petrochemicals and pharmaceuticals, climbed 3.8% last month from the previous year. Petrochemical exports increased 28.2%, while pharmaceutical shipments fell 22.9% after sliding 11.5% in December.
Singapore’s non-oil exports dropped a seasonally adjusted 1.8% last month from December, when they fell a revised 4.2%, today’s report showed.