More than half of Singapore small businesses remain positive about growth prospects for their own business and are looking to increase headcount in 2014.
The annual CPA Australia Asia Pacific Small Business Survey said that around 57 per cent of Singapore businesses are expecting growth next year.
About six in 10 of this group believe growth will come from increased sales. Over a third say expansion will come from improvements to their business models.
However, when asked about the economy, only 48 per cent of respondents expect the Singapore economy to expand. In the 2013 survey, the result was 60 per cent.
CPA Australia chief executive, Alex Malley said "While confidence is down, the sector seems to be showing enormous resilience in the face of this adversity, with more than a third of small businesses surveyed still saying they intend to add staff in 2014 and almost half at least expecting to grow a little in the year ahead.
Mr Malley said global economic volatility stemming from a slowdown in China's economic growth and other external factors were likely behind the significant dip in confidence levels in this year's survey.
In Indonesia, about 83 per cent of small businesses surveyed are expecting to grow, while the proportion is 65 per cent in Malaysia. Hong Kong sentiment is poor, at only 36 per cent.
The CPA Australia Asia Pacific Small Business Survey is available for download at cpaaustralia.com.au/smallbusiness.