World Economy

Singapore Exports Cool But SMEs Gain Success

Singapore Exports Cool But SMEs Gain Success Singapore Exports Cool But SMEs Gain Success

Export growth in Singapore is expected to have slowed sharply last month from October’s double-digit pace, a Reuters poll found on Friday, dragged by a high base effect from a year ago and a tapering in sales of electronics.

Non-oil domestic exports in November were forecast to have risen 5.5% from a year earlier, according to the median in the survey of 10 economists, cooling off a 20.9% surge the month before.

External demand remains robust, though the headline numbers are expected to show a less dramatic increase in part because of last year’s high base. On a month-on-month and seasonally adjusted basis, non-oil domestic exports were seen up 0.6%, the poll found, compared with a 12.5% rise in October.

The annual jump in October was the biggest in 2-1/2-years, thanks to extended strength in global demand. The exports boom has benefited Singapore and other trade-dependent Asian economies, particularly for electronics products and components such as semiconductors.

However, electronics exports grew modestly at 4.5% in October. With the exception of a “one-off blip” in September when it contracted a revised 8%, exports of electronics grew at a double-digit pace for most of this year.

“Even as overall electronic exports have softened, demand for integrated circuits, disk media and PCs remains strong,” Moody’s said in a research note to its clients. “Although external demand is likely to remain firm, a high base from a year earlier is likely to inhibit export growth in coming months,” it said. 

  SMEs Debt Financing

About 13% of Singapore’s small and medium enterprises sought external financing in the past year and a bulk or 90% of them were successful in their applications for debt financing, according to a latest survey by Spring Singapore.

Over two thirds or 60% of SMEs that sought external financing this year did so for cash flow management, said Spring Singapore in a statement disclosing the findings from its second edition of the SME Financing survey.

Bank loans were the most popular form of external financing across SMEs of different sizes, industries and stages of development. The majority of the remaining 87% that did not turn to external financing, indicated sufficient funds to operate, while a smaller proportion (9%) indicated a personal preference not to borrow.

Spring Singapore also said that a top finance-related challenge for SMEs was managing delays in customers’ payment which affected cash flow and working capital management.

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