SINGAPORE - The uncertain global economic outlook has cast a pall over business sentiment here, with only 48 per cent of companies in a recent survey saying they expect to make profits this year.
The Singapore Business Federation's annual National Business Survey polled 1,002 companies on their concerns and outlook for the coming year. About 79 per cent of respondents were small and medium-sized enterprises, while the rest were large firms.
The majority - about three-fifths - of those polled have fewer than 50 staff.
The survey found that 54 per cent of respondents have been adversely affected by the downbeat economic climate. Firms in the education, oil and gas and logistics and transportation sectors have been worst-hit.
In addition, 17 per cent of those polled said they expect losses in 2016, up from 10 per cent in the previous year's survey.
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 survey was conducted by DP Information Group.