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Singapore Exports Up 26 Percent

Exports excluding oil rose 26.1 percent from a year earlier to $9.5 billion, according to Singapore's Trade and Industry Ministry, due to strong rebound in electronics.

SINGAPORE (AP) -- Singapore's exports jumped in December for the second straight month as global demand for the city-state's electronics surged.

Exports excluding oil rose 26.1 percent from a year earlier to 13.2 billion Singapore dollars ($9.5 billion), according to Trade and Industry Ministry figures released Monday. The ministry said sales abroad rose a seasonally adjusted 1.7 percent from November.

"The numbers reflect a solid rebound from the low levels of the first quarter last year," said David Cohen, an economist with consultancy Action Economics in Singapore.

Electronics -- which account for 40 percent of non-oil exports -- rebounded strongly, rising 25.2 percent from a year earlier after falling 6.1 percent in November.

Pharmaceuticals rose 76 percent while petrochemicals increased 64 percent, the ministry said.

Singapore's economic recovery slowed last quarter as gross domestic product fell by an annualized seasonally adjusted 6.8 percent. The government expects the economy to grow up to 5 percent this year after contracting by 2.1 percent last year.

The improvement in exports eases fears of a possible derailment of the global economic recovery, said Cohen.

"The upward trajectory in exports from Singapore and other Asian economies is a sign that global demand is continuing to recover," he said.

Non-oil exports rose 27 percent to Europe and 20 percent to China from last year, the ministry said. U.S. demand for non-oil products grew by 6 percent after falling nearly 13 percent in November.

Oil exports, which account for 32 percent of total exports, increased 60 percent in December from a year earlier.

Non-oil imports rose 9.9 percent in December, after dropping 3.3 percent in November, the ministry said.

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