14 Feb 2018

The Straits Times

By Janice Heng

Singapore's trade staged a turnaround in 2017 as growth rates reached a seven-year high, with the Government also upgrading its forecast for 2018.

Non-oil domestic exports (Nodx) grew 8.8 per cent in 2017, after a 2.8 per cent decline in 2016.

The 2017 growth figure was the highest since 2010, also beating trade promotion agency International Enterprise (IE) Singapore's earlier prediction of 6.5 per cent to 7 per cent.

Trade growth is expected to be firm in 2018, though there could be moderation from 2017's rapid pace, IE Singapore said in its Review of 2017 Trade Performance on Wednesday morning (Feb 14).

"Favourable sector-specific export trends in the machinery and chemicals clusters are expected to continue into 2018, coupled with a slight pickup in global growth projected by the IMF (International Monetary Fund) in its latest January 2018 World Economic Outlook update," said IE Singapore.

However, growth is expected to ease for some key trade partners such as China, Japan, some of the newly industrialising economies, and the euro zone.

IE Singapore has adjusted its 2018 growth projections for Nodx upwards, to 1 per cent to 3 per cent, and similarly raised its growth projection for total trade to 3 per cent to 5 per cent.

Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission