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July 17, 2007

Slow exports dampen trade outlook
Singapore on July 17 cut its 2007 trade growth forecasts as key exports expanded at a slower 1.2% in June, dragged down by a continued slump in electronic exports, Channel News Asia reported.

Overall trade growth projections for 2007 were revised downwards to 5.0 to 7.0% from 8.0 to 10% due to sustained declines in electronics shipments and a weaker-than-expected trade performance so far this year, International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore) said.

IE Singapore also cut its 2007 growth forecast for non-oil domestic exports (NODX), a key health barometer of the trade-driven economy, to 4.0-6.0% from 7.0-9.0%.

Despite the downward revisions to trade growth, analysts are confident Singapore's economy is still likely to grow 5.0-7.0%, as targeted by the government.

"Even if electronics continues to be a drag, we can still see fairly decent growth in the second half," according to Song Seng Wun, an economist with CIMB-GK in Singapore.

Song, who expects Singapore to grow 7.5 percent this year, said there was even a chance the government would upgrade its 2007 growth targets to 6.0-8.0% from 5.0-7.0% if other sectors continued to expand strongly. CNA

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