Singapore exports surge

08:46, January 19, 2010      

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Singapore's exports surged the most since 2005 in December as electronics shipments ended an almost three-year slump and pharmaceutical sales increased.

Non-oil domestic exports climbed 26.1 percent from a year earlier, after an 8.7 percent gain in November, the trade promotion agency said in a statement yesterday.

The median forecast of eight economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a 22 percent increase. Overseas shipments fell about 11 percent in 2009, the worst in eight years.

Singapore is dependent on a revival in overseas sales to sustain its recovery after exiting its worst recession since independence in 1965.

Trade Minister Lim Hng Kiang said last week he doesn't expect a return to recessionary conditions in 2010 even as exports may grow at a "sluggish pace".

"Exports are seeing a genuine improvement as a result of stronger regional and global domestic demand," said Robert Prior-Wandesforde, senior Asia economist at HSBC Holdings Plc in Singapore.

"It is beginning to look likely that first-quarter gross domestic product will bounce, and bounce strongly after the pharmaceuticals-related decline in the fourth quarter."

Singapore's economy shrank for the first time in three quarters in the last three months of 2009 as weaker manufacturing output interrupted the island's recovery.

The export decline in 2009 was in line with the government's prediction for shipments to drop 10 percent to 11 percent. Exports fell 7.9 percent in 2008.

Source: China Daily
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