Singapore exports fell 4.8 per cent in March

SINGAPORE'S exports continued to fall last month, dropping 4.8 per cent over the year, following a massive 30.6 per cent drop in February.

But in a sign that things could be finally turning around, the pace of growth has picked up.

When compared to February, non-oil domestic exports actually grew 8 per cent, surpassing market analysts' expectations of a just 4.5 per cent growth.

Another sign that things are getting better was that all major product exports grew on a non-seasonally adjusted, monthly basis. These include all electronics, pharmaceuticals and petrochemicals.

Still, ANZ economists cautioned that export performance was not out of the woods yet.

"A number of headwinds remain for Singapore's (and the region's) external demand. First, Europe has been relatively stable, but structural problems there keep the growth outlook flat to negative for the year," they said.

"China's cyclical upturn is also taking longer to gain traction than we or the market previously expected. Finally, the US private sector is showing signs of life, but there is a significant fiscal drag that will likely keep the recovery there modest."

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