Last Week in Numbers: Singapore’s Non-Oil Exports Rose in January

Singapore’s non-oil exports (NODX) rose by 13% from a year ago in January. This also represented a 3.1% increase from December. It follows a strong 2017 when NODX grew by 8.8% for the full year. January’s year-on-year growth was due in part to a 20.7% growth in non-electronic NODX. Amongst which, non-electric engines and motors grew the most at 383.6%. Food preparations rose by 100% and measuring instruments by 43.2%.

Electronic exports, however, continued to decrease in January after a 5.3% decline in December. Electronic NODX fell 3.9% in January, due to a decline in disk drives (-39.4%), personal computers (-31.4%) and integrated circuits (-10%).

Jacob Zuma resigned from his post as the president of South Africa on Wednesday, amidst orders from the ruling African National Congress. This brings an end to his nine years in power. The 75-year old was a polarised figure who was an anti-apartheid resistance fighter. The rand currency rose to a 2.5-year high on the day of the news.

Two District 9 properties in Singapore went for en bloc this week. Cairnhill Mansions and Riviera Point were sold for $362 million and $72 million respectively. Cairnhill Mansions is an 18-storey block with 61 apartments. It sits on a land area of 43,103 square feet. The price sold works out to $2,311 per square foot per plot ratio (psfppr).

Riviera point’s site has an area of 14,579 square feet. It has a plot ratio of 2.8 but currently has an existing gross floor area of 49,265 square feet, which works out to a plot ratio of 3.379. The sale price translates to about $1,461 psfppr.

Japan’s economy grew for eight consecutive quarters. This is the longest straight streak in 28 years. However, the pace of growth decelerated last quarter (October to December 2017) to just 0.5%. It is less than the median estimate of 0.9%. This follows a 2.2% increase in the quarter of July to September 2017. On a quarterly basis, gross domestic product (GDP) for last quarter grew by just 0.1%. Capital expenditure rose 0.7%. Exports went up by 2.4%, but imports also increased by 2.9%.

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s GDP grew by 5.9% in the last quarter. Full 2017 growth also stood at 5.9%, its best in three years and up from 2016’s 4.2% growth.

Billionaire entrepreneur, Elon Musk, successfully launched a new rocket, the Falcon Heavy. It is built to deliver a maximum payload to low-Earth orbit of 64 tonnes. According to Musk, the rocket has more than double the power of the next most powerful rocket, the Delta IV Heavy, but at one-third the cost.

Musk believes the reusability of the boosters which landed back on Earth after the launch will make his technology much more cost-efficient than his competitors.

Finally, the first day of Chinese New Year fell on the 15th of February this year. It is China’s biggest holiday with three billion trips estimated to have been made during this time. 400 million people would have travelled by train and 65 million by plane. In recent years, the tradition of giving red packets has gone digital. Last year, 46 billion cash gifts were exchanged through WeChat.

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