Singapore Jan export slump seen worsening, could add to easing views

Singapore Jan export slump seen worsening, could add to easing views

SINGAPORE  - Singapore is expected to report on Wednesday that exports in January fell at a sharper pace than in December, a Reuters poll showed, which could raise expectations of further policy easing by its central bank.

Non-oil domestic exports in January were expected to fall 7.4 per cent from a year earlier, according to the median forecast in the survey of 15 economists. That would a third straight month of contraction.

In December, exports slid a worse-than-expected 7.2 per cent as a slump in demand from China deepened.

On a month-on-month, seasonally adjusted basis, non-oil domestic exports in January were seen up 1.8 per cent from December, when shipments fell 3.1 per cent from the previous month, the poll showed.

Activity in Singapore factories contracted for a seventh consecutive month in January as weak global demand continued to weigh on new orders, a separate business survey showed earlier this month.

The possibility of Singapore's central bank easing monetary policy at its scheduled policy review in April is rising, analysts say, as weak economic data points to a worsening outlook for growth.

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