SINGAPORE - More local firms are paying up on time in recent months.
A report by Singapore Commercial Credit Bureau (SCCB) found that payment performance of local firms showed positive changes in the first quarter of 2012 as slow payments dropped to its lowest point in a year.
According to SCCB, overall slow payments fell by 6.2 percentage points to 41.9 per cent compared to the previous month.
A year-on-year comparison also found that slow payments contracted by 0.6 percentage points to a 12-month low, after sequential increases month-on-month.
Overall payment promptness improved from the previous quarter. It climbed 5.1 percentage points to 44.6 per cent.
However, year-on-year payment promptness was up by only 0.36 percentage points, pointing towards moderated growth and prevailing macroeconomic downside risks in the coming months.
There were improvements in payment rates across most industries, with the services sector increasing the most.
It saw a fall of 8.3 percentage points to 41.3 per cent, due to healthy growth in the food, accommodation and tourism-related services. There was also a surge in financial, insurance and business services sectors' trading activities.
Payment delays in the construction and manufacturing sectors also fell. It fell by 7.9 percentage points to 50.4 per cent in the construction sector.
This was due to an increase in construction activities in residential and institutional building segments.
Slow payments for the manufacturing sector fell by 5.5 percentage points to 44.5 per cent due to a healthy manufacturing sector buoyed by increased production in all sectors, especially the electronics and precision engineering sectors.
The wholesale trade sector maintained the lowest payment delays, down by 7.8 percentage points from the previous quarter to 36.4 per cent.
The retail trade sector saw negative changes in payment performance, largely due to the continued deterioration of domestic economic activity. Slow payments rose 2.9 percentage points to 49.1 per cent.