Revenue growth in services eases in Q1 to 3.6%

Revenue growth in the service sector eased in the first quarter of this year, data from the Department of Statistics showed yesterday.

Overall business receipts in the sector rose 3.6 per cent in Q1 compared with a year ago, down from the 4.1 per cent growth registered in the final quarter of last year and the 7.2 per cent rise in Q3 last year.

Higher revenues were recorded across the board in Q1, with growth led by the information and communications service industry. It recorded an increase of 7.2 per cent in takings, due mainly to higher receipts from firms engaged in computer programming and consultancy services, and information service activities such as Web hosting and Web portal services.

The financial and insurance service as well as transport and storage service industries also reported increases in revenue of 7 per cent and 3.9 per cent respectively.

Performance was mixed across the industries, with the transport and storage service industry contributing most to the drag. Its business receipts declined 5.6 per cent, attributed mainly to the water transport segment, which was hit by lower demand.

On the flip side, the recreation and personal service industry recorded a quarter-on-quarter increase of 7.3 per cent in revenue. The education service industry also clocked a rise of 3.7 per cent in turnover.

The Business Receipts Index, which leaves out the wholesale and retail trade as well as accommodation and food services, measures short-term changes in service income from business operations on a quarterly basis.

Business receipts dipped by 0.4 per cent in Q1 compared with Q4 last year on a quarterly basis.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 28, 2019, with the headline 'Revenue growth in services eases in Q1 to 3.6%'. Print Edition | Subscribe