ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Why analysts are not impressed with Singapore's strong November NODX

They forecast full year NODX to stil be in the red at -4.1%.

There was a surprise boom in Singapore's non-oil domestic exports in November -- after slumping 12% in the previous month, it managed to revert losses and post an 11.5% growth.

But analysts were far from impressed. For Citi Research, they remain cautious of the volatile pharmaceutical segment, which saw a 44.8% growth.

"We remain cautious of growth, given that the rebound was largely driven by volatile pharma, while Trump presidency-related uncertainties remain, with Singapore relatively more exposed to any protectionist policies compared to the rest of ASEAN," Citi research noted.

For UOB, the surprisingly strong NODX will not be enough to change the fate of a fourth full year NODX decline.

"The improvement in November NODX was due to gains in both the electronic and non-electronic exports. Electronic exports grew 3.5% y/y, and marked the first expansion in 9 months," UOB said.

It added,"We maintain our 2016 NODX growth forecast of -4.1%, marking the 4th year of full year NODX decline. Nevertheless, we forecast 2017 NODX to finally break the contractionary barrier and grow 0.7%, although it is still a very weak growth."

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