June 15, 2018 / 7:03 AM / a year ago

Singapore May export growth seen slowing to 4.7 percent

A truck driver walks past a stack of IRISL containers at a depot in northern Singapore February 4, 2012. REUTERS/Thomas White/Files

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore’s non-oil domestic export growth likely dropped sharply in May as demand for electronics and pharmaceuticals cooled, a Reuters survey of economists showed on Friday.

Exports in May were expected to have risen 4.7 percent from a year earlier, at less than half the pace of April, according to the median forecast of nine economists surveyed.

On a month-on-month and seasonally adjusted basis, non-oil domestic exports were seen up 1.0 percent, the poll found.

The global exports boom has benefitted Singapore and other trade-dependent Asian economies in the past year, particularly for makers of electronics products and components such as semiconductors, but growth has started to moderate this year.

Electronics continue to be a significant source of trade strength for Singapore, but the sector has started to lose momentum.

“Global tech demand has passed its peak,” credit-rating firm Moody’s said in a note to clients.

“But the annual falls in electronic shipments are overstated because of a high base,” it added.

In April, the city-state reported a surprise 11.8 percent jump in exports thanks to a surge in pharmaceutical sales, despite declining electronic shipments.

Exports rose 6.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted, month-on-month basis.

Reporting by Fathin Ungku; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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