Singapore has made a hefty upward revision to its trade forecast for the year in light of a faster than expected Asian economic recovery and rebound in global electronics demand. Trade is projected to grow 4 per cent to 6 per cent this year. Previously, the government had projected a 5 to 7 per cent contraction in total trade for the year. Trade Development Board (TDB) policy director Chan Kam Fai said: 'The revision is a reflection of the volatility of the situation we are in and the fact that trade figures are inherently volatile. 'Not just the government, but a lot of people in the private sector have been surprised by the turnabout,' Mr Chan said. Barry Desker, TDB chief executive, said: 'There has been a faster than expected recovery in regional economies. This has boosted investor sentiments.' Business with Singapore's top five trade partners has improved significantly - except Hong Kong. Latest government figures show overall trade falling marginally by 0.9 per cent in the first-half, sharply reversing a 12.4 per cent contraction in the second half of 1998. However, these numbers do not do justice to the resurgence seen in the past few months. Non-oil domestic exports grew 8.4 per cent, 15.5 per cent and 7.5 per cent year on year in April, May and June, with electronic products and pharmaceuticals leading the way. June figures released yesterday showed non-oil domestic exports at S$8.1 billion (about HK$36.4 billion). Analysts said this was slightly lower than expected, but showed the recovery was still in tact. Of Singapore's top five overseas markets, only trade with Hong Kong has continued to shrink with non-oil domestic exports contracting by 14.8 per cent in June. Trade with Hong Kong shrank 18 per cent over the first half as a whole. Given that the International Monetary Fund projected Hong Kong's economy would shrink by a further 1.3 per cent this year, Mr Desker said: 'Therefore the outlook for exports to Hong Kong remains pessimistic in the second half of 1999.' Trade with Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines are all expected to improve in the second half as they emerge from recession. Given a brighter external environment, Singapore says it will upgrade its official Gross Domestic Product forecast for this year to 2 from 0 per cent.