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Singapore’s exports tumble in March

Singapore’s exports tumble in March


Singapore’s exports tumbled in March as sales to China, the US and Europe contracted in a sign the trade-dependant economy remains vulnerable as weak global demand puts its manufacturing sector to the sword.

Non-oil domestic exports (NODX) slumped 15.6 per cent in March from a year earlier, trade agency International Enterprise Singapore said in a statement. That missed the median forecast of a 13.2 per cent contraction in a Reuters poll. In February, exports unexpectedly rose thanks to a surge in shipments from the statistically volatile pharmaceuticals sector.

During the same period, Singapore’s central bank unexpectedly eased its exchange-rate based monetary policy as growth stalled in the first quarter, darkening the outlook for the city-state economy. The latest data point to a rocky ride for the trade-dependent economy, and underscores why the central bank had to act.