Singapore’s non-oil exports may have grown slightly in August as electronics and drugs shipments picked up, but an escalating global credit crisis will put further pressure on already-slowing global demand.

The median forecast of seven economists polled by Reuters suggested Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports rose a seasonally adjusted 1.5% in August, swinging from an unexpected 2.2% fall in July.

From a year ago, 11 economists surveyed said non-oil exports probably fell 9.5%. Annual shipments fell 5.7% in July.

Exports from trade-dependent Singapore are seen as a barometer for global demand, which has weakened this year in the face of high inflation and the global credit crisis.

“I am expecting pharmaceuticals to do a bit better after months of adjustments, and tech to improve as seen in PMI,” said Song Seng Wun, an economist at CIMB Group.

“But there is still a lot to discover as we criss-cross the mine field with the blow-out of the financial crisis, which will ripple through out the world,” Song said.

Singapore’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI), a leading indicator of manufacturing, showed electronics output rose in August on increased new orders.

Global financial markets were shaken on Monday after Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy protection and Merrill Lynch agreed to be taken over as a deepening credit crisis took new, bigger victims.

The year-long global credit crisis has dampened consumer demand globally, especially in the United States and Europe, which buy nearly a third of Singapore’s non-oil exports.

Last month, the Singapore government said it expected exports in 2008 to fall between two percent and four percent. It had previously predicted a rise of two percent to four percent. (Reuters)