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Singapore’s non-oil exports fall for 11th straight month  

Reuters/Kevin Lam
Last month, Singapore narrowed its economic growth forecast to 0.5 percent to 1.5 percent this year after it narrowly averted a recession

Singapore’s annual exports fell for an 11th straight month in August as the trade-reliant economy continues to grapple with global headwinds on inflation and declining demand.

Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports fell 20.1 percent year on year in August, official data showed on Monday, as both electronics and non-electronics exports to the US, Europe and China declined.

The decline compared with a forecast in a Reuters poll of a 15.8 percent contraction and continued the 20.3 percent contraction seen in July.

“This does seem to suggest that any kind of stabilisation on exports doesn’t seem to be on hand just yet,” said Barclays economist Brian Tan.

Economists are expecting the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to keep monetary policy unchanged in the policy review scheduled next month due to the weak growth and persistent inflation.

“Even if the growth is weak, inflation has been at a very uncomfortable level for us… it’s really too soon to be relaxed about inflation, and MAS is going to stay relatively cautious,” said Tan.

On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, non-oil exports decreased 3.8 percent, Enterprise Singapore data showed, versus the prior month’s 3.5 percent decline. Economists had forecast 5.5 percent growth.

Non-oil exports to the US contracted by 32.4 percent in August, after the 34.3 percent expansion in the preceding month, mainly due to the sharp decline in non-electronic exports.

Last month, Singapore narrowed its economic growth forecast to 0.5 percent to 1.5 percent this year from 0.5 percent to 2.5 percent, after it narrowly averted a recession in the second quarter when its economy expanded a seasonally-adjusted 0.1 percent.

The central bank left policy settings unchanged in April, after tightening five times in a row since October 2021, reflecting concerns over the city-state’s growth outlook.