Singapore’s business sentiments for next 6 months remain subdued: survey

Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB) and Department of Statistics (DOS) on Thursday released survey reports about business expectations showing pessimistic views for the remaining year.

The survey report released by EDB, Business Expectations of the Manufacturing Sector, showed that a weighted 24 percent of manufacturers expect business conditions to improve, while a weighted 31 percent foresee a weaker business outlook in the second half of 2020, compared to the second quarter.

Overall, a net weighted balance of 7 percent of manufacturers anticipate a less favorable business for the July-December period, compared to the second quarter. That is a big improvement from the previous edition of this survey report, which was released this April and showed a net weighted balance of 56 percent of manufacturers predicted a softer business situation for the April-September period, compared to the first quarter this year.

As for the third quarter of 2020 only, a net weighted balance of 6 percent of manufacturers predict output to decrease in the period, compared to the second quarter; and a net weighted balance of 7 percent of manufacturers plan to hire fewer workers in the third quarter than in the previous quarter.

The survey report released by DOS is Business Expectations of the Services Sector which showed that a weighted 9 percent of service firms are optimistic about the business conditions in the six months starting this July, while a weighted 40 percent of such firms foresee slower business. Overall, a net weighted balance of 31 percent of service firms anticipate less favorable business conditions for the second half of this year.

The previous edition of this survey report, which was released in April, showed a net weighted balance of 58 percent of service firms anticipated less favorable business conditions for the six months ending this September.

As for the third quarter only, the new survey report for services sector showed that a net weighted balance of 29 percent of service firms forecast operating receipts to decrease in the quarter, and a net weighted balance of 21 percent of service firms expect to decrease hiring activities for the third quarter.