ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Singapore exports down in July
SINGAPORE exports fell more than expected in July from the previous year on softer US and Chinese demand, giving further credence to an economic slowdown this year.
Concerns over the weaker global economic outlook prompted the government this month to narrow its growth forecast for this year to 1-2 per cent instead of 1-3 per cent as projected earlier. Singapore’s economy grew a modest 2.0 per cent in 2015, the weakest rate of expansion since 2009 due to the effects of a global financial crisis.
Yesterday, the government’s trade promotion body International Enterprise Singapore released data showing that the city-state’s non-oil domestic exports fell 10.6 per cent year-on-year in July. The decline is worse than the 2.4 per cent contraction the previous month. It was also worse than the 2.5 per cent median estimate of a 2.5 per cent decline in a Bloomberg survey of 15 economists. Electronics exports such as semiconductors contracted by 12.9 per cent, accelerating from a 1.7 per cent decline in June.
Non-electronics exports, including pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals and specialised machinery, fell by 9.5 per cent from a 2.6 per cent fall in June. “Indeed, when it rains, it pours. This will add on to the long list of poor data pointing to the risk of an economic contraction ahead,” said DBS Bank senior economist Irvin Seah.
“The writing is on the wall. For those maintaining a sanguine view on the near term outlook on the economy, this should be a wake-up call,” he said in a note.
The “slowdown in China is the main concern but sluggish growth in the US and uncertainties surrounding the Eurozone are not helping,” Seah said.
But CIMB Private Banking economist Song Seng Wun urged caution in reading the July data.
He said the exports decline was due to seasonal factors like the Hari Raya Muslim holidays in Indonesia and Malaysia where companies shut down for a week, as well as the severe flooding in China.
Singapore News, Economy.Singapore exports down in July
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Indonesia to launch 13th economic package this month
Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution said on Wednesday that the government would release its 13th economic policy package in August, adding that the draft had been completed.
Darmin said the 13th package was largely an extension of the previous one, but would expand its focus beyond industry. The 12th package focused on small and medium enterprises.
"We are just waiting to schedule a meeting with the president," Darmin told reporters at his office. He refused to give the exact date the new policy package would come into effect.
The ministry team must meet with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo one more time to finalize the details, Darmin said.