Singapore manufacturers optimistic over business outlook in next six months

SINGAPORE manufacturers are optimistic that business situation will improve in the next six months, based on a business expectation survey by the Economic Development Board released on Friday.

A weighted 12 per cent of manufacturers expect business conditions to improve while a weighted 5 per cent foresee a softer business outlook.

Except for general manufacturing industries, all clusters within the manufacturing sector are sanguine over their business prospects from April to September 2017, as compared to the first quarter of 2017.

The electronics and precision engineering clusters are the most optimistic, with the semiconductor segment projecting strong market demand for chips used in smart phones, automotive and data storage applications. Meanwhile, the machinery & systems segment foresees better business prospects, largely supported by the semiconductor-related equipment industry.

As for output, all except the chemicals cluster forecast higher production in the next three months.

On the employment front, a net weighted balance of 5 per cent of manufacturers plan to hire fewer workers in the second quarter of 2017, compared to the previous quarter, led by transport engineering and general manufacturing industries clusters.

The Survey of Business Expectations of the Manufacturing Sector for the second quarter of 2017 was conducted between March and April 2017; 95 per cent of 430 manufacturing firms responded.