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SINGAPORE: Singapore’s annual exports fell for an 11th straight month in August as the trade-reliant economy continues to grapple with global headwinds on inflation and declining demand.

Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports (NODX) fell 20.1% year-on-year in August, official data showed on Monday, as both electronics and non-electronics exports to the United States, Europe and China declined.

The decline compared with a forecast in a Reuters poll of a 15.8% contraction, and continued the 20.3% contraction seen in July.

“This does seem to suggest that any kind of stabilisation on exports doesn’t seem to be on hand just yet,” said Barclays economist Brian Tan.

Economists are expecting the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to keep monetary policy unchanged in the policy review scheduled next month due to the weak growth and persistent inflation.

“Even if the growth is weak, inflation has been at a very uncomfortable level for us… it’s really too soon to be relaxed about inflation, and MAS is going to stay relatively cautious,” said Tan.

On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, NODX decreased 3.8%, Enterprise Singapore data showed, versus the prior month’s 3.5% decline.

Economists had forecast 5.5% growth. NODX to the United States contracted by 32.4% in August, after the 34.3% expansion in the preceding month, mainly due to the sharp decline in non-electronic exports.

Last month, Singapore narrowed its economic growth forecast to 0.5% to 1.5% this year from 0.5% to 2.5%, after it narrowly averted a recession in the second quarter when its economy expanded a seasonally-adjusted 0.1%.

The central bank left policy settings unchanged in April, after tightening five times in a row since October 2021, reflecting concerns over the city-state’s growth outlook.

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