Singapore’s December exports rebound after nine months of contraction hinh anh 1Singapore’s exports staged a surprise recovery in December. (Photo:

Singapore (VNA) – Singapore’s exports staged a surprise recovery in December, snapping a nine-month decline thanks to a sharp rise in pharmaceutical shipments.

According to data from Enterprise Singapore, non-oil domestic exports from the city state in December expanded 2.4 percent from a year earlier, significantly above the 1.8 decline predicted by economists in a Reuters poll and November’s 5.9 percent drop.

The rise was driven by a 34.7 percent on-year rise in pharmaceutical shipments, although electronics contracted 21.3 percent after a 23.3 percent decline the previous month.

On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, exports also surprisingly expanded 1.1 percent in December after growing 5.8 percent in November. The poll had called for a 1.3 percent contraction from the month before.

Singapore’s economy expanded at its slowest pace in a decade last year, with the export-oriented nation hit hard by the trade war between the United States and China and the cyclical downturn in the electronics sector.

Some chipmakers have started expecting a recovery from the industry downturn, helped by a pick-up in smartphone demand.

Shipments of non-monetary gold also bolstered December’s rebound, up 127.8 percent from a year earlier.

The city-state is a big regional player in the gold trade, and exports can be affected by sharp swings in value. Spot gold has in recent weeks risen to some of the highest levels since 2013, according to Refinitiv data./.