Singapore workers to see 2.7% real pay increase next year: Survey

Wage-earners should expect to see a nominal salary increase of four per cent in 2018. PHOTO: ST FILE
Wage-earners should expect to see a nominal salary increase of four per cent in 2018. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Workers can expect salary increases of 2.7 per cent next year after inflation, according to new survey.

The poll forecasts inflation to be 1.3 per cent for 2018 so that means wage-earners should expect to see a nominal salary hike of 4 per cent.

"Over the past few years inflation in Singapore has increased while nominal salary increases have stayed flat, which has had the effect of slowly eroding pay rises in real terms," said Mr Lee Quane, regional director of Asia at ECA International (ECA), which conducted the poll.

"Despite this, the salary increases for 2017 and 2018 compare favourably with other developed economies in the region and globally.

"This reflects the fact that the Singapore economy continues to perform well on the back of the global economic recovery."

ECA's projected wage growth ranks Singapore 9th out of the 20 countries surveyed in the Asia-Pacific region and 14th globally.

Argentina topped the global list with a projected real wage growth of 7.2 per cent.

Asia-Pacific countries occupied eight of the top 10 spots in the global rankings, led by India in second place with a real wage growth of 4.9 per cent.

In fact, all locations in the region expect to receive above-inflation salary increases.

Among South-east Asian countries surveyed, Vietnam and Indonesia ranked joint fourth globally, ahead of Thailand (6th) and Cambodia (10th).

Workers in Malaysia, which was ranked at 20, have enjoyed wage increases above 5 per cent for several years thanks to low unemployment and a strong economy.

They can expect increases to continue in 2018 with inflation forecast to fall back slightly, the survey found.

China ranked fifth globally with wage earners predicted to have 6 per cent pay increments - higher than the 5.5 per cent average in 2017 - while Hong Kongers are tipped to see hikes of 1.8 per cent in 2018.

However, Australians can expect real wages to rise by only 0.8 per cent, the survey found.

In Europe, expected salary increases remain low. Real wage growth in Germany is expected to be 1.2 per cent, French workers can may see rises of 0.9 per cent while Britain will likely get the lowest rate of real wage growth in the region at 0.2 per cent.

The United States and Canada are set to remain steady, with real wages growing at 0.9 and 1.1 per cent respectively.

The survey by ECA, a provider of data, specialist software, consultancy and training, is based on information collected from 260 multinational companies across 72 countries.