Singapore’s slumping non-oil exports improved in July as global demand for the city-state’s products slowly recovered.
Exports fell 8.5 percent in July from the same month of 2008 to 12.5 billion Singapore dollars ($8.7 billion) following an 11 percent drop in June, according to Trade and Industry Ministry figures released Monday. Compared to June, exports rose a seasonally adjusted 6.1 percent.
“The release represents a good start to the third quarter,” said Robert Prior-Wandesforde, senior Asia economist with HSBC. “In our view, the economy has embarked on a vigorous, sustained recovery.”
The island’s economy grew an annualised 20.7 percent in the second quarter after contracting each of the previous four quarters. The government expects the economy to shrink up to 6 percent this year after growing 1.1 percent last year.
Non-oil exports, which have fallen 15 straight months, were equal to about 60 percent of gross domestic product last year.
Electronic products — which account for 36 percent of non-oil exports — fell 15 percent while petrochemicals dropped 32 percent. Pharmaceuticals rose 57 percent in July after rising 1.1 percent the previous month, the ministry said.
Oil exports, which account for 31 percent of total exports, fell 44 percent in July as prices plunged from a year ago.
Non-oil exports to Europe rose 9.4 percent, dropped 24 percent to the US and slid 13 percent to China.
Non-oil imports fell 19 percent in July from a year earlier, the same percentage drop as in June, the ministry said.