ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

These are the three toughest challenges that businesses will face this year

High costs still the biggest roadblock.

Business owners in Singapore continue to lose sleep over extremely high manpower costs, according to the annual National Business Survey by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF).

A staggering 70% of respondents said that high costs are their biggest concern this year. Other challenges include the uncertain economic environment and slowing sales growth, which was flagged by 58% and 55% of enterprises, respectively.

The annual survey, conducted in the fourth quarter 2015 with the participation of more than 1,000 SBF members, indicated that 54% of respondents have been adversely affected by the current economic climate, an increase from the 35% from last year’s survey.

Slightly more companies are less optimistic about Singapore economic growth for the year, as the drop in demand is beginning to affect more firms.

In addition, more companies are affected by delays in projects and customers payments, and they are also facing financing challenges with bank loans becoming more expensive and new bank financing harder to obtain.  

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