Singapore June exports fall 2.3% on weak China, Europe demand

Economists say the government should boost fiscal stimulus to deal with pressure on the economy.

The non-oil domestic exports of Singapore skidded in June compared with a year earlier, as shipments to China and Europe continued to contract.

The decline of 2.3 percent suggest the trade-reliant economy may need more stimulus to support a recovery. However, in May the exports had shown an unexpected rise on gold and pharmaceuticals shipments.

Singapore's economy grew slower than expected in the second quarter due to the instability in its key financial services industry adding to the pressure on the manufacturing sector.

Trade promotion agency International Enterprise Singapore said in a statement that the city-state's shipments to China, its biggest export destination, fell 9.9 percent in June from a year earlier, compared with a 10.1 percent fall in the previous month.

Sales to the European Union also declined 5.8 percent in June on-year after a 14.0 percent contraction in May. Experts believe that there are possibilities of further impact on sales due to Brexit.

Some economists say the government should boost its fiscal stimulus in order to deal with this pressure on the economy.

"With MAS' policy complicated by the strength in the S$NEER, there is still space for subsequent off-budget fiscal measures should the economic outlook deteriorate further," Weiwen Ng, an economist for ANZ in Singapore told Reuters.

Based on the nominal effective exchange rate (NEER), the Monetary Authority of Singapore manages policy by allowing the Singapore dollar to rise or fall against the currencies of its main trading partners.