S'pore firms downbeat: Poll

The uncertain global economic outlook has cast a pall over business sentiment in Singapore.

A survey out yesterday said only 48 per cent of companies expect to make profits this year while 54 per cent of respondents said they have been adversely affected by the downbeat economic climate, a much larger share than the 35 per cent in last year's poll.

Firms in the education, oil and gas and logistics and transportation sectors have been worst-hit.

In addition, 17 per cent of firms in the Singapore Business Federation's (SBF's) annual survey expect losses in 2016, up from 10 per cent last year.

Companies are also finding it tougher to obtain bank financing - 56 per cent of firms surveyed said bank loans are becoming more expensive, up from 47 per cent in last year's poll.

The latest poll also shows that companies continue to grapple with high labour costs, the uncertain economic environment and slow growth in sales. More firms are also being hit by project delays and customers pushing back payments.


ST GRAPHICS

The survey, which was conducted by DP Information Group in the last three months of 2015, polled 1,002 companies.

About 79 per cent were small and medium-sized enterprises, while the rest were large firms. Around 60 per cent employed fewer than 50 people. The poll was released yesterday at a conference organised by the SBF.

Chia Yan Min

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 13, 2016, with the headline 'S'pore firms downbeat: Poll'. Print Edition | Subscribe