Bleak outlook for Singapore firms in Q1: D&B

Bleak outlook for Singapore firms in Q1: D&B

SINGAPORE - Local business optimism took a turn for the worse for the first time after an upward trend for two consecutive quarters.

The latest quarterly Business Optimism Index (BOI) survey findings, released today by D&B revealed that 3 out of 6 leading business indicators have fallen into the contraction region for the first quarter of 2013.

This comes after a positive showing in Q4 2012 when all 6 business parameters are in the expansion region. The manufacturing sector took the worst hit as net optimism levels for net profits, volume of sales and selling price all experienced sharp declines.

This is the 15th Singapore Business Optimism Index (BOI) released by D&B since July 2009. The BOI is a measure of business confidence in the economy. Released quarterly, it is based on a business sentiment survey designed to capture business expectations and is one of the most effective ways to track how the business community perceives the business environment, and where they think it is moving.

More is available in the full press release below:

Singapore, 23 January 2013 - Following the government's official forecast for the economy to grow between 1 to 3 per cent in 2013, local business optimism weakens for the first time after an upward trend for the previous two consecutive quarters.

The latest quarterly Business Optimism Index (BOI) survey findings, just released today by Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) revealed that 3 out of 6 leading business indicators have fallen into the contraction region for the first quarter of 2013. This comes after a positive showing in Q4 2012 when all 6 business parameters are in the expansion region.

Business confidence in Singapore began showing early signs of weakening in Q4 2012 when optimism levels have plateaued.

Given that the global economy will remain sluggish, Singapore is expected to face more uncertainties in the coming months. The labour market will also be expected to remain tight in 2013.

This quarter, business optimism on volume of sales, net profits and inventory levels have all experienced sharp declines. Optimism levels for net profits are expected to decrease from 9.3 percentage points to -1.6 percentage points. Inventory levels have also fallen from 7.9 percentage points to -4.9 percentage points.

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