ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Local firms’ payment performance at 2-year high in Q4: SCCB

More than 50% of payments were on time.

Singapore firms continued to display improved payment performance for the third consecutive quarter in Q4, according to a report by the Singapore Commercial Credit Bureau (SCCB). The latest payment statistics showed that more than half of payments were prompt, while slightly more than one-third were delayed for 2015’s final quarter.

Further, overall prompt payments climbed to a near-two-year high. On a QoQ basis, overall prompt payments inched up by 2.05 percentage points to 53.10% in Q4 from 51.05% in Q3. This marks the second highest reading in nearly two years when prompt payments peaked at 57.73% in 4Q13.

Similar improvements were also noted in slow payments by local firms. In QoQ terms, slow payments slipped 2.88pp to 35.43% in Q4 from 38.31% in Q3. Compared to a year ago, slow payments dipped to 35.43% in Q4 from 38.89 in Q3, reflecting a 3.46pp difference. SCCB’s figures show that low payments were at their second lowest in nearly two years when slow payments were at a record low of 32.84% in 4Q13.

Partial payments picked up slightly for the third consecutive quarter QoQ to 11.47% in 4Q from the preceding quarter’s 10.65%. YoY, Q4 partial payments inched up to 11.47% from Q3’s 11.03%.

SCCB further noted that from a sectoral perspective, payment performance saw QoQ marginal pullbacks across majority of industries. Unlike the construction industry, the retail, wholesale, services, and manufacturing industries saw a QoQ decrease in slow payments. This stands in contrast to 3Q15 when all five industries experienced a fall in slow payments.

Meanwhile, YoY payment delays improved across all five industries in Q4. 

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