Singapore companies turn optimistic for Q2: Survey

A view of Singapore's Central Business District on Feb 22, 2017.
A view of Singapore's Central Business District on Feb 22, 2017. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Businesses in Singapore turned optimistic about prospects in the next three months, with wholesale trade and manufacturing firms seeing the biggest rebound.

After turning pessimistic for the first quarter of this year, following three consecutive quarters of positive sentiment, confidence returned for the April to June period, according to the latest quarterly survey by the Singapore Commercial Credit Bureau released on Wednesday (March 1).

Its Business Optimism Index (BOI) rose slightly from -1.22 percentage points for the first quarter of 2017 to +2.66 percentage points for the second quarter.

Compared to a year ago, companies were slightly more optimistic with the BOI rising from +0.89 percentage points for the second quarter of 2016. The BOI hit bottom in the first quarter of 2016.

Both services and wholesale trade sectors emerged as the most optimistic sectors with five of the six business indicators showing in the expansion. The six indicators are sales, profits, employment, new orders, inventories and selling price.

Meanwhile, sentiments within the manufacturing sector improved significantly with visible increases seen in five indicators.

In contrast, the outlook for the construction sector deteriorated with all six business indicators moderating downwards.

For services - the most optimistic sector - confidence was largely attributed to growth within the information and communications, education, health and social services segments.

Sentiments within the financial sector improved only slightly from the preceding quarter.