Seasonal festivities brighten mood in services sector: Survey

Seasonal festivities brighten mood in services sector: Survey

Shoppers standing outside a luxury retail store in a shopping mall along Orchard road
Shoppers pass by a Louis Vuitton shop at Orchard Road. (Photo: AFP)

SINGAPORE: Buoyed by an improving economy and the upcoming festive season, Singapore’s services sector is expecting business conditions over the next six months to improve, a survey by the Department of Statistics Singapore.

The results showed that a net weighted balance of 9 per cent of firms in the services sector are more optimistic about business conditions between October 2017 and March 2018, as compared with April to September 2017.

This is also better than the net weighted balance of 5 per cent registered in the previous quarter’s survey in July to December 2017, and the negative 8 per cent in the same period last year, the survey showed.

Breaking the data down, a weighted 20 per cent of firms are optimistic about business conditions for Oct 2017 to March 2018, while a weighted 11 per cent of firms foresee slower business. The majority of firms, a weighted 69 per cent, anticipate the level of business activity to remain the same.

All industries within the services sector, except for the real estate industry, expect conditions to improve.

In particular, firms in the food and beverage services, retail trade and accommodation industries expect the year-end holidays and the festive season to have a positive impact on business conditions in the six months to March, with weighted balances of 34 per cent, 19 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively.

In terms of employment, a net weighted balance of 7 per cent of firms in the services sector expect to increase hiring in the last quarter of this year.

The Business Expectations Survey for the services sector is conducted quarterly by the Singapore Department of Statistics. The fourth quarter 2017 survey was conducted between September and mid-October 2017, and covered about 1,500 enterprises.

Source: CNA/aj