Exports, trade shrink in first quarter

Exporters in Singapore shipped 12.5 per cent fewer goods overseas in the first quarter of the year compared with the same period a year ago, trade agency IE Singapore said on Thursday.

The decline in non-oil domestic exports, which was sharper than the previous quarter's 4.2 per cent contraction, was due to lower demand for both electronic and non-electronic exports, the agency said.

Overall trade in Singapore also shrank in the first three months of the year.

Trade fell 9 per cent in the first quarter over the same period a year ago, accelerating from the previous quarter's 2.9 per cent slide, according to IE Singapore.

This was the third consecutive quarter of decrease for both total trade and exports, the agency said.

It is maintaining its forecasts for total trade to grow by 3 to 5 per cent this year and for non-oil domestic exports to grow by 2 to 4 per cent.