Singapore may find it a struggle to meet its target for non-oil domestic export (NODX) growth this year of between 0 percent and 1 percent after a surprise decline in shipments in August, according to Singaporean economists.

International Enterprise (IE) Singapore announced on September 17 that NODX fell 6.2 percent from a year ago in August, following a 1.9 percent drop in July.

On a month-on-month basis, the NODX tumbled by a seasonally-adjusted 6.0 percent in August, extending the 1.8 percent decline in July.

IE Singapore said both the year-on-year and month-on-month declines were due to contraction in the electronic and non-electronic shipments.

The electronic NODX was 9.2 percent lower than a year ago, easing from an 11.1 percent plunge in July. The non-electronic NODX dropped 4.7 percent year-on-year, following a 2.9 percent rise in the previous month.

According to IE Singapore, exports to eight of Singapore’s top 10 export markets contracted last month, with shipments to the Eurozone and the US down 20.8 percent and 6.7 percent year on year, respectively. NODX to China grew 15.3 percent.

With exports under pressure, Singapore’s economic growth might also feel the pinch, Credit Suisse analyst Michael Wan cautioned.

Mr Wan said “We estimate that third-quarter GDP could contract by about 3.5 percent on-quarter, down from an unusually strong 15.5 percent rise the previous quarter.”-VNA