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Singapore Business Confidence Surges for Fourth Consecutive Quarter

 Singapore Business Confidence Surges for Fourth Consecutive Quarter

The Singapore Commercial Credit Bureau (SCCB) conducted the business sentiment quarterly survey and revealed that local businesses showed signs of improvement. Moving to the findings, the study done in June 2024 showed that business optimism in Singapore had improved; thus, it was the fourth successive quarter. This relatively steady and continuous increase is evidence of this fact that shows how businesses are able to cope and thrive on the inevitable shocks and changes in the course of the economy, both at home and in the global market.

The business optimism index saw a moderate increase to +4.94% points in the third quarter of 2024, compared to +4.82 % points in the second quarter. While the increment may appear modest, it signifies a steady improvement in sentiment among local business owners and senior executives. This upward trajectory suggests growing confidence in the economy’s prospects and business conditions in Singapore.

Among the industries/sectors, construction, transport, and finance/banking sectors came out as the most positive industries as at least four out of the six indicators were positive. The extremely positive undertone of the filing is testimony to the bounce-back ability and growth prospects of these segments. For instance, construction industry sentiment may be high as a result of existing infrastructure and government plans to improve the construction industry’s contribution to economic growth. Likewise, the favourable outlook for the transportation sector may have been an indicator of a better global economy due to calls for logistics and freight.

Optimism within the financial sector can be attributed to better market conditions and other positive changes in the legislation. Banks also speak of shifting demands of the client base and changing trends, including in the digital space, as key factors that make the development of revenues and profitability a hopeful process.

Nevertheless, expectations within the manufacturing sector remained generally subdued, with only two out of six optimism indicators being in the black. The volume of sales went down and entered the contractionary area, and from their point of view, we can also state that the figure of net profit shrank simultaneously. This may be attributed to factors such as elongated supply chain control, increasing cost of inputs and tensions affecting global trade. However, due to the pressure for innovation and efficiency enhancement, manufacturers are seeking opportunities within this environment on how to operate effectively.

On a brighter note, the Performance of the Wholesale Sector was not as bad for the third quarter of 2024, where sentiments recovered slightly. There was also a slight increase in sales volume, which was showing signs of improving compared to the previous quarter, coming with an increase in net profit as signalled by three out of six indicators being positive. This may be associated with the present relaxation of consumer purchasing and subsequent social and essential goods and services.

Other signs of optimism were seen in the services sector, where three out of six indices revealed positive trends. Rankine clearly shows the imposed optimism which designates the dairy industry as a sector actively changing in response to new market conditions. With the eventual adoption of digitalization and innovative business models, there is now sentiment that services can and will fuel employment and prosperity.

While the current business outlook looks rosy, firms still approach external stimuli with a certain measure of circumspection with regard to potential impacts on their growth prospects. Global risk factors such as political risks, international trade risks, and risks arising from the supply chain are some of the factors which companies have to deal with in the current world. Also, factors such as inflation, advancements in technology, compliance risks and regulation act as threats to business activities and profits.

Among the total indicators under analysis, three of them experienced quarter-on-quarter growth – these are volume of sales, net profit, and unemployment rate. Again, this implies a gradual recovery and stabilisation in business performance, and this will go a long way in sustaining the business and creating a lasting market for the products. However, as companies respond to these changes and try to move ahead in the competitive environment that exists in the marketplace, there is a renewed optimism about market growth opportunities.

The spikes in sales volume and net profit highlighted by different organisations that operate today show that businesses are viable despite the fact that market conditions are volatile. However, the selling price that declined a bit indicated the tendency of firms to reduce prices so as to offer a competitive edge to consumers. Nevertheless, companies are rather optimistic about their future and strategies to overcome such unfavourable conditions influencing their position on the market and to notice the appearance of new opportunities for their development and expansion.

In the broadest view, the SCCB’s quarterly survey provides an outlook of Singapore companies’ tangible expectations. However, there are disadvantages and risks involved, which are as follows: Some sectors reveal different growth potentialities, but challenges and risks are present. Every luminous point can be further analysed with the help of an assessment of the crucial factors and tendencies in the current state of the companies; thus, it is possible to have a clear understanding of the opportunities for their development in the existing conditions and further expansion. When it comes to risk management, many Singapore businesses have already adjusted to risks that everyone meets today and will be able to create long-term value when the economic environment changes.

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