Singapore's non-oil domestic exports (NODX) contracted in April, despite growth expectations.
After five straight months of growth, April NODX fell about 0.7 percent on-year, the International Enterprise Singapore data showed on Wednesday. On a month-on-month seasonally adjusted basis, NODX declined 9.0 percent, compared with a Reuters forecast for a 4.1 percent contraction.
"We think that this is only a temporary, technical pullback from an exceptionally strong month in March," Francis Tan, an economist at UOB, said in a note on Wednesday.
He noted that NODX growth rates are "notoriously volatile" and his longer term view remained for a global trade recovery this year.
"We are also expecting that the strong double digit NODX growth since November 2016 cannot be sustained into the second half of 2017. This is especially since recent trade numbers reported by Asian economies also point to a slower growth rate," he said.
However, Tan underscored that slower growth does not mean no growth.
"Slower growth does not mean no growth. We are expecting Singapore's 2017 NODX to finally expand, after recording four previous years of contraction."
IE Singapore attributed the contraction to a decline in non-electronic NODX offsetting growth in the electronics segment.