SINGAPORE - Non-oil domestic exports (Nodx) grew 1.1 per cent year-on-year in the first three months of the year and government planners are maintaining their earlier forecast that the NODX will rise 1 to 3 per cent for the full year.
Total trade was up 2.5 per cent for the first quarter, with the expectation that it will expand 3 to 5 per cent - as projected earlier.
Nodx's growth in Q1 slowed from 10.4 per cent in the previous quarter, according to trade promotion and enterprise development agency Enterprise Singapore. It said shipments of non-electronic products (+4.5 per cent) increased while electronics (-7.9 per cent) fell in Q1
Total trade growth in Q1 also moderated following a 7.8 per cent jump in the October-December 2017 quarter.
"Overall, the growth for both Nodx and total trade is expected to remain firm in 2018 but ease from 2017's strong performance," Enterprise Singapore said.
According to the government's trade promotion and enterprise development arm, global economic and trade growth are tipped to stay firm this year, with the International Monetary Fund forecasting a slight pick-up in global growth from 3.8 per cent in 2017 to 3.9 per cent in 2018.
Growth outlook for Singapore's key trade partners like China, Japan and Asean-5 is likely to ease from 2017's pace or remain unchanged this year, Enterprise Singapore said.
The World Trade Organisation expects world trade volumes to rise 4.4 per cent in 2018, broadly matching 2017's growth of 4.7 per cent. Oil prices generally are likely to trend higher in 2018, supporting Singapore's oil trade.