World Economy

Singapore Private Sector Growth Slows

Singapore Private Sector Growth Slows
Singapore Private Sector Growth Slows

Growth in Singapore’s private sector eased in January to its slowest in three months, according to a survey released on Friday.

Notably also, private sector businesses were pessimistic about output for the year ahead for the first time in the survey history, citing slowing economic conditions, CNA reported.

The headline Nikkei Singapore Purchasing Managers’ Index stood at 51.6 in January, slightly down from 52.0 in December, and the lowest for three months.

Commenting on the data, Bernard Aw, economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey, said: “Growth in Singapore’s private sector was sustained at the start of 2017, with further expansions in both output and new orders reported, albeit at slower growth rates. However, there were a number of worrying developments for the republic.

“For the first time in the survey history, private sector businesses in Singapore expressed pessimism about their 12-month outlook for output because of slowing economic conditions, according to the future output index. Weak business confidence has affected employment trends. While increases in both permanent and temporary employment boosted job growth in January, panelists reveal that much of the growth is centered in part-time hiring.”

Aw also noted that the growth in export orders slowed markedly in January, “which cast doubts on the recent strong growth numbers in official export data.”

“If new business from abroad slows or even declines in the months ahead amid growing uncertainty about global trade policy, Singapore’s economic growth could be affected,” he said.

According to the Nikkei Singapore PMI data, input cost inflation for businesses was steepest in around three years during January, which led to the sharpest increase in prices charged at Singapore’s private sector firms on record.


Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints