But exports still likely to remain weak.
According to DBS, a sequential rebound in trade is expected for September after a slump in August. In August, exports and imports fell by 12% MoM (-24.3% YoY) and 15% MoM (-8.0% YoY) respectively due in part to seasonal effects of the “Hari Raya” holiday.
Here's more from DBS:
For September, a partial rebound with export and import growth reaching -13.1% YoY and 0.6% YoY respectively is expected. Against a backdrop of lackluster global growth, exports are likely to remain weak.
Similarly, commodity prices are unlikely to stage a meaningful rebound in the near term, implying that export growth will stay in negative territory. Meanwhile, the import numbers will provide a gauge as to the health of the domestic economy.
Import has clearly outperformed exports over the past several quarters and this is set to continue. However, import growth has started to moderate. This is not surprising because some raw material imports go into the production of goods exports, which have been weighed down by weak external demand.
Gradual cooling measures introduced over the last few months should also temper import growth. On balance, imports should still stay relatively elevated in level terms, backed by a resilient domestic economy.
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