Economy: Singapore's non-oil domestic exports (NODX) slipped 0.5% y/y in Oct, beating expectations for a larger decline of 3%.
However, this dashed hopes for a rebound following Sep's 0.3% uptick and confirms a market observer's view that Singapore is entrenched in a trade recession.
The decline was due to lower shipments of electronic shipments (Oct '15: -3.2%, Sep '15: +5.7%) and a slump in petrochemicals (Oct '15: -9%, Sep 2015: -19.1%), which outweighed the surge in pharmaceuticals (Oct '15: +44.6%, Sep '15: +6.5%).
Market observers now see trade weakness till 1Q16, on lower import intensity in US and China, as well as dimmer growth outlook in the Asean region.
Further, the deflationary trend in commodities may pose a risk to the country's NODX going forward.