Shipping containers, Port of Singapore

Of six major ASEAN economies, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia all saw their economies grow at a faster pace for the January-March period than for the full-year figures for 2016.

The Philippines and Vietnam, while not beating full-year 2016 growth numbers, were still the fastest growing economies in the region, expanding at a pace of 6.4% and 5.1%, respectively.

Key drivers of Southeast Asia’s encouraging start to the year, according to Nikkei Asian Review:

  • Higher oil prices, and the beginnings of a recovery in natural gas and coal, have fueled Indonesia’s export growth by value
  • Electronics are pushing up exports from the region
  • Chipmaker Micron Technology’s increasing production of a new kind of smartphone semiconductor helped lift Singapore’s exports to jump 15.2% for the January-March period
  • Exports from Singapore of integrated circuits, PC components and disk media rose 21.5%, 21.6% and 10.3%, respectively
  • Malaysia’s total exports were up 21.4% in the same period, also helped by electronics which saw an 18.4% increase

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