Channel NewsAsia

Singapore business confidence dips in Q3: Report

Local businesses expressing "cautious optimism" because of slight drop in regional demand and renewed uncertainties in the global economy, says Singapore Commercial Credit Bureau.

SINGAPORE: Business confidence in Singapore dipped slightly in the third quarter of this year, sliding to +14.65 percentage points from +22.66 percentage points in the previous quarter.

This is according to Singapore Commercial Credit Bureau's (SCCB) Business Optimism Index (BOI) study released on Monday (June 30), which showed that local businesses were more cautious amid a slight drop in regional demand and uncertainty in the global economy.

The quarterly study by SCCB tracks business expectations in key areas such as net profit, volume of sales and employment.

The services and construction industries ranked among the most optimistic sectors, according to the study.

The services industry anticipated sales volume and net profits to remain at healthy levels, owing to higher retail sales volume and gains in the food and beverage and electronics, watches and jewellery sectors.

Meanwhile, public sector construction activities were expected to drive the industry, despite a tightening foreign worker policy keeping a lid on growth.

Audrey Chia, CEO of SCCB, said: "Recent reports of a contractionary shock in the US economy may have dampened business sentiments here slightly. However, the overall BOI (Business Optimism Index) reading remains healthy and reflects positively on the resilience of SMEs against external risks and uncertainties.

"The healthy BOI reading over the first three quarters this year bodes well for businesses here. This may be indicative of a rising number of firms tapping on Government grants such as the Innovation and Capability Voucher (ICV) scheme and other loan financing schemes to boost productivity, streamline business processes and offset any capital cost which help keep their business lean, profitable and competitive in the near-term."

Tweet photos, videos and updates on this story to  @channelnewsasia