Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports rebounded in February, climbing by a better-than-expected 9.1 per cent on a year-on-year basis.
This was led by non-electronic exports which rose by 15.4 per cent with exports of chemicals rising 49.3 per cent year-on-year and pharmaceuticals gained 21.8 per cent.
However, electronics exports remained weak – contracting by 3.7 per cent year-on-year on top of the 17 per cent decline in the previous month.
Looking ahead, economists said recovery in the electronics sector will lag behind those of Singapore’s North Asian neighbours.
Leong Wai Ho, senior regional economist at Barclays, said: “A big catalyst for electronics is the launch of popular smartphone brands. Samsung is launching its Galaxy S5 worldwide in the second quarter and I think that could trigger Apple to do the same later in the year. You could see a resurgence of the smartphone value chain.”
He added: “Unfortunately, Singapore is not well-plugged into that space. We’re more plugged into the global IT or PC segment of the electronics value chain. Until we see Fortune 500 companies in the US raising their IT capital budgets, we will not see a bounce in Singapore’s electronics exports in a meaningful sense.”
Source : Channel News Asia | March 17, 2014