SINGAPORE - Slow payments by local firms rose again in the third quarter this year over the second quarter, the Singapore Commercial Credit Bureau said on Wednesday.
However, the rise was less steep for the July to September period compared with the preceding three months.
Companies are also increasingly opting for partial payments. These hit their highest level in two and a half years, the bureau said in a statement.
Payments are considered delayed if they are late by 30 or more days. Partial payments are when companies pay part of their owed amount on time.
The proportion of payments that were made promptly fell from 47.38 per cent in the second quarter to 45.97 per cent in the third quarter.
This marked the third consecutive quarter of decline in overall payment promptness since the start of this year, the bureau said.
Delayed payments made up 41.92 per cent of companies' payments in the third quarter, up slightly from 41.1 per cent in the second quarter.
The remaining transactions were partial payments. Partial payments made up 12.11 per cent of firms' payments in the third quarter, an increase from 11.52 per cent the previous quarter.
The construction industry was the slowest paymaster in the third quarter, followed by the retail sector, the bureau added.
The Singapore Commercial Credit Bureau is owned by commercial database manager D&B, which compiled the information from more than 1.5 million payment transactions.