Business

Rising optimism in two sectors leads to returning confidence in economy

Business confidence in Singapore's economy for the second quarter of this year has bounced back up, led by rising optimism in the services and wholesale trade sectors from a gloomy outlook in the preceding quarter, according to the latest survey.

The quarterly Business Optimism Index (BOI) rose to an expansionary 2.66 percentage points for the second quarter from -1.22 percentage points in the first quarter, based on a survey by the Singapore Commercial Credit Bureau (SCCB), which gauges the perception among businesses based on key parameters such as net profits, selling prices, inventory levels and employee count.

On a year-on-year basis, the BOI is up from +0.89 percentage points in last year's Q2 to +2.66 percentage points in the quarter under review.

Sentiments over five indicators - sales volume, net profits, selling price, new orders and employment levels - except for inventory levels improved on a quarter-on-quarter basis.

On a yearly basis, all five areas are showing signs of improvement.

The services and wholesale trade sectors emerged as the most optimistic sectors for the second quarter with five business indicators in the expansionary zone.

Sentiments within the manufacturing sector improved significantly with increases in the five indicators, but the outlook for the construction sector has deteriorated with all business indicators moderating downwards.

"The unprecedented surge in optimism within the wholesale trade sector reflects a recovering overall global demand, which is expected to provide growth support to our local economy in the coming months," said SCCB chief executive Audrey Chia.

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