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Economic restructuring 'too fast'

About two-thirds of Singapore companies find the pace of economic restructuring "too fast", a survey by audit firm KPMG has revealed.

Of the 159 companies surveyed, 65.8 per cent said policy-driven structural changes to Singapore's economy were too fast for them to handle. Only 12.9 per cent of them felt the pace was just right.

The survey also found that 44.5 per cent felt that the tight labour market is increasing manpower costs faster than productivity gains. Some firms (21.3 per cent) were still unsure how to restructure and needed more help.

TOP CONCERN

Rising costs and inflation was the most urgent concern for the next 12 months, said 32.7 per cent of companies surveyed. This figure rose to 39 per cent for small and medium-sized enterprises.

But 51 per cent said that government measures to encourage greater productivity have allowed them to invest in productivity-enhancing equipment.

The survey, done in the fourth quarter of last year, aimed to identify the concerns of companies in the run-up to this year's Budget. The Budget Statement will be delivered on Feb 21.