S'pore workers could see 2.7% real pay rise next year: Survey

The survey by ECA International ranks Singapore's projected wage growth at No. 9 out of the 20 countries surveyed in the Asia-Pacific region and at No. 14 on the global list.
The survey by ECA International ranks Singapore's projected wage growth at No. 9 out of the 20 countries surveyed in the Asia-Pacific region and at No. 14 on the global list.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

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 next year, so 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 for Asia at ECA International, which conducted the poll.

"Despite this, the salary increases for 2017 and 2018 compare favour-ably with other developed eco-nomies 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 ninth 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 jointly ranked fourth globally, ahead of Thailand (sixth) and Cambodia (10th).

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

They can expect increases to continue next year, 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 this year - while Hong Kongers are tipped to see hikes of 1.8 per cent next year.

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 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.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 15, 2017, with the headline 'S'pore workers could see 2.7% real pay rise next year: Survey'. Print Edition | Subscribe