Singapore

Nodx grew at a single-digit pace last month

Singapore's non-oil domestic exports (Nodx) grew at a single-digit pace last month after a double-digit jump the month before.

Shipments were driven mainly by non-electronic goods such as non-monetary gold, specialised machinery and pharmaceuticals.

Nodx rose 6 per cent year-on-year last month after a revised 13.9 per cent expansion in June and a 4.6 per cent drop in May, Enterprise Singapore (ESG) said yesterday.

The gain last month was higher than the 4.4 per cent predicted by economists in a Bloomberg survey.

Nodx has now increased in five of the seven months this year, a robust performance when compared with only one month of gain last year.

NORMALISATION

Mr Irvin Seah, senior economist at DBS Bank, said: "This can be seen as the start of a normalisation process, where exports will flatten out to a more sustainable level."

However, he noted, the global outlook remains highly uncertain and challenging.

"While we believe Nodx growth will remain positive on an average basis in the coming months, some gyrations could still be expected from time to time. This is partly attributed to the volatile nature of the pharmaceutical cluster, which is the key driver of overall Nodx performance thus far," he said.

On a month-on-month seasonally adjusted basis, Nodx rose 1.2 per cent last month, after the previous month's 1.4 per cent decline.

The growth in non-electronic domestic exports outweighed the decline in electronics.

On a year-on-year basis, non-electronic Nodx rose by 6.9 per cent last month, following the 11.7 per cent expansion the previous month.

Contributing the most to last month's export gains, non-monetary gold shipments surged 227.9 per cent, specialised machinery rose 60.1 per cent and pharmaceuticals were up 15.5 per cent.

Excluding gold, Nomura International said, Nodx would have contracted by 5.9 per cent year on year.

ESG data showed gains in specialised machinery and pharmaceutical exports were also helped by their low bases last year.

Electronics Nodx grew by 2.8 per cent last month, less than the low-base driven expansion of 22.2 per cent the previous month.

Disk media products, telecom equipment and integrated circuit shipments increased by 23, 18.2 and 1.5 per cent last month, respectively.

The Government last week raised Singapore's 2020 trade forecasts, predicting Nodx to grow by 3-5 per cent year-on-year, compared with an earlier forecast of a 1-4 per cent fall.

BUSINESS & FINANCE