Singapore non-oil exports suffer worst slide in six months in August: Analysts' take

SINGAPORE - Shipments from Singapore suffered their sharpest fall in six months in August, underscoring fears over weaker global growth. Non-oil domestic exports (Nodx) from the Republic shrank 8.4 per cent in August from the same month in 2014, falling far short of economists' expectations of a 3.5 per cent decline.

This is what economists are saying about the data.

Ng Weiwen and Glenn Maguire, ANZ:

"Singapore's economy is unlikely to see an export-led lift any time soon, amid wobbly growth momentum in China and lacklustre domestic demand in the rest of emerging market Asia.

While the United States recovery is firming, so far it has been led by the services sector rather than goods producing sectors, which further constrains the activation of the US supply chain and even contributes to the ongoing 'trade recession' in Asia."

Euben Paracuelles and Brian Tan, Nomura:

"Overall, the data suggest manufacturing sector activity remains soft in the third quarter.

Nonetheless, while it cannot be ruled out, our base case has the economy avoiding a technical recession in this quarter, as the services sector should be supported by Singapore's 50th Anniversary celebration and domestic spending should be bolstered by the general election on Sept 11."

Kit Wei Zheng, Citi:

The weak Nodx numbers do not conclusively point to third quarter technical recession.

To better gauge thid quarter growth, we would look toAugust manufacturing data and other monthly data for services and construction. In the event of a technical recession, the odds of the Monetary Authority of Singapore easing policy would increase, but even so, signaling from policymakers does not indicate urgency to ease at this stage.

Selena Ling, OCBC:

There is a clear and present danger of a technical recession, given the unfortunate perfect storm of weak manufacturing, the China slowdown and issues like the haze. Even the SG50 Jubilee celebrations in August may not provide much of a lift to domestic consumption and in turn to the services growth to offset the overwhelming softness in manufacturing.We have downgraded our full-year GDP growth forecast from our original 2.2 per cent year-on-year to 2 per cent, which is at the lower end of the revised official growth forecast of 2-2.5 per cent.