Despite the lacklustre global and domestic economic situation, workers here expect their salaries to rise next year, according to a recent survey by recruitment firm Randstad.
But other reports suggest that employers are likely to give modest raises of about 4 per cent, which may not beat inflation.
Three-quarters of the 405 Singapore employees surveyed by Randstad expect pay rises next year, though they were not asked how large these should be.
This is despite projections of a subdued economic outlook, with the Government expecting growth to slow to 1 per cent to 3per cent next year.
However, workers' optimism about pay rises is in line with businesses' stable performance, said Randstad director for Singapore Michael Smith.
Almost eight in 10 bosses surveyed said their firms did well this year, despite global economic challenges. Workers whose firms are doing well "are looking to be compensated for their contribution towards this", said Mr Smith.
Industry and labour experts agreed that workers still expect pay rises despite slower growth.
But that is partly due to another aspect of the gloomy economic situation: high inflation.
"From our interactions with PMEs (professionals, managers and executives), they are not expecting huge pay rises. I think what they want is to cover inflation," said Mr Francis Lee, assistant director of the National Trades Union Congress' PME Alignment Unit.
Singapore Human Resources Institute executive director David Ang noted that inflation does not just affect individual workers' expectations, but is a factor brought up in union wage negotiations.