SINGAPORE - Singapore's trade got off to a strong start in 2018, with growth in non-electronics exports more than making up for the second straight month of decline in the electronics sector.
Non-oil domestic exports (NODX) went up 13 per cent year-on-year in January, according to latest trade data released on Thursday (Feb 15) by trade agency International Enterprise Singapore.
This was up from a 3.1 per cent rise in December, also far outpacing economists' estimates of 8.9 per cent growth.
The January numbers came after full-year figures released on Wednesday showed NODX growth of 8.8 per cent in 2017, with IE Singapore expecting this to moderate to between 1 per cent and 3 per cent this year.
January's year-on-year growth was due to a 20.7 per cent spike in non-electronic NODX, following a 6.8 per cent rise in December. Contributing the most to this growth were non-electric engines and motors (up 383.6 per cent), food preparations (up 100 per cent), and measuring instruments (up 43.2 per cent).
The strong non-electronics growth more than made up for a continued slide in electronic NODX. On a year-on-year basis, electronic NODX fell 3.9 per cent in January, after a 5.3 per cent fall in December. The biggest contributors to the decline were integrated circuits (-10 per cent), parts of PCs (-31.4 per cent) and disk drives (-39.4 per cent).
NODX to eight of the top 10 markets grew in January, with the exceptions being Taiwan (-12.7 per cent) and Thailand (-5.4 per cent). Growth was led by the United States (up 53.4 per cent), the eurozone (up 16.9 per cent) and Japan (up 28.8 per cent).