Services, manufacturing firms upbeat about second half of the year

Bosses of services and manufacturing firms in Singapore are mostly positive about business prospects for the second half of the year, according to survey findings released on Wednesday.

About a fifth of services firms are optimistic about how well their business will perform in the July to December period this year, while only a tenth are expecting conditions to worsen from the January to June period.

The remaining services firms, comprising about two-thirds of the industry, believe things will stay the same in the second half of the year compared with the first six months, according to a survey by the Department of Statistics.

Within the sector, all industries except real estate and the financial and insurance industry expect positive business prospects for the second half of the year, said the department. Hoteliers are the cheeriest due to the upcoming Formula 1 event in September and the year-end festive period.

Over in manufacturing, 13 per cent of bosses expect business conditions to improve in the July to December period while 5 per cent foresee deterioration, said the Economic Development Board (EDB).

But "despite the positive sentiment, the manufacturing sector continues to be concerned about the global macro-economic environment, in particular the United States, European Union and China", the agency added.

General manufacturing firms are the most optimistic in the sector, but all other major clusters are also upbeat, EDB said. Almost all manufacturing firms - 97 per cent - expect employment to stay at the same levels or improve in the third quarter of this year.

Services accounts for about two-thirds of Singapore's overall economy while manufacturing makes up about a fifth.