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Singapore's NODX swing to growth first time in 14 months

Bloomberg
Bloomberg • 2 min read
Singapore's NODX swing to growth first time in 14 months
Official data Monday showed non-oil domestic exports grew 1% in November, slower than the median expectation for a 1.5% gain. Photo: Bloomberg
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Singapore’s exports returned to growth for the first time in more than a year, although it was hardly a sign of recovery in external demand.

Official data Monday showed non-oil domestic exports grew 1% in November, slower than the median expectation for a 1.5% gain in a Bloomberg survey. The expansion was mainly because of a low base in the year-ago period, according to Enterprise Singapore.

Total trade increased in November, supported by growth in exports even as imports declined. Still, the data offered little reason for cheer about the prospect of a durable recovery in trade, key to the city-state’s economic performance.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry last month said it expects Singapore’s economy to grow around 1% this year, with expansion next year seen coming in between 1%-3%. 

Non-oil domestic exports to the top markets as a whole declined in November, dragged down by falling shipments to Taiwan, the bulk of the European Union and Indonesia. Exports to the US, China, Thailand and Hong Kong rose, with some of those gains staying well below monthly highs seen before the slump in 2022-2023.

See also: Singapore economy expected to grow by 2.7% y-o-y in 2Q2024

The ministry had last month expected the city-state’s manufacturing and trade-related sectors to remain weak for the rest of 2023 amid subdued external demand. Although global electronics demand continues to be sluggish amid elevated inventory levels, the MTI had said it saw signs that the downturn may be bottoming.

Key numbers from Monday’s data
  • Non-oil domestic exports rose 0.3% month-on-month; est. 0.1% decline
  • Non-oil domestic exports grew 1% on-year; est. 1.5% expansion
  • Electronics exports declined 12.7% from a year ago

The increase in November’s headline number was driven by non-electronics products, as total chemicals and pharmaceuticals shipments rose.

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