SINGAPORE - Payment performance has moderated downwards for the first quarter of 2013, following two consecutive quarters of marked improvements.
This was seen within the context of challenging economic conditions and the promise of a decisive
recovery still remaining a low possibility.
While overall payment promptness has held steady above the 50 per cent mark, the downward trend has become more evident and visible in the first quarter.
According to Singapore Commercial Credit Bureau (SCCB)'s latest payment trend analysis, payment promptness has declined marginally by 1.21 percentage points quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) from 51.59 per cent to 50.38 per cent.
However, the proportion of prompt payments was still better compared to a year ago for the very same quarter. A year-on-year (y-o-y) analysis revealed a substantial 5.82 percentage point increase from 44.56 percentage points to 50.38 percentage points.
Meanwhile, payment delays continued to increase as slow payments rose by 2.51 percentage points q-o-q, from 40.99 percentage points to 43.50 percentage points. This stands in some level of contrast compared to Q4 2012 when payment defaults increased by a mere 0.79 percentage points. Reaching its new peak over the past year, slow payments have increased by 1.58 percentage points from 41.92 percentage points y-o-y.
According to SCCB, partial payments have declined by 1.8 percentage points from 7.92 per cent to 6.12 per cent. This marks the lowest proportion of partial payments made in the history of SCCB's payment analysis.
Compared to Q4 2012, payment performance has declined last quarter with four of five sectors experiencing varying levels of increase in the proportion of slow payments made. With the exception of the retail industry, payment delinquency has risen in the remaining industries.