News: Singapore businesses mixed on near-term prospects

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Singapore businesses mixed on near-term prospects

A weighted six percent of manufacturers anticipate business conditions to improve while a weighted 11 percent foresee a weaker business outlook.
Singapore businesses mixed on near-term prospects

A majority of firms (a weighted 83 percent) in the manufacturing sector expect business conditions in the next six months to remain similar to a quarter ago. A weighted six percent of manufacturers anticipate business conditions to improve while a weighted 11 percent foresee a weaker business outlook. 

Overall, a net weighted balance of five percent of manufacturers predicts a less favorable business situation for the period October 2019 – March 2020, compared to the third quarter of 2019, according to a poll by the Economic Development Board (EDB).

Within the manufacturing sector, the biomedical manufacturing cluster is the most optimistic, with a net weighted balance of 10 percent of firms expecting improved business conditions for the period October 2019 – March 2020, compared to a quarter ago.  

By contrast, the electronics, general manufacturing industries, precision engineering, and chemical clusters are less optimistic about the operating environment in the October 2019 – March 2020 period, compared to the preceding quarter. This is due in part to the heightened global macroeconomic and trade-related uncertainties. 

Compared to the third quarter of 2019, a net weighted balance of two percent of manufacturers expects output to decrease in the fourth quarter of 2019, finds the poll.

The transport engineering cluster is the most optimistic, with a net weighted balance of 20 percent of firms expecting a higher level of activity in the fourth quarter of 2019, compared to the previous quarter.

A majority of firms (a weighted 87 percent) in the manufacturing sector expect the employment level in the three months ending December 2019 to remain similar to the previous quarter. Overall, a net weighted balance of three percent of manufacturers plans to hire fewer workers in the fourth quarter of 2019, compared to the preceding quarter. Among the manufacturing clusters, the electronics and precision engineering clusters project a smaller workforce for the period October – December 2019.

Topics: #Trends, Entrepreneurship

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