BUILDING & ENGINEERING, ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

More manufacturers positive about business in next six months

14% expect business improvement, whilst 9% do not.

About 14% of manufacturers expect business conditions to improve, whilst 9% expect them to deteriorate in the next six months, the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) revealed.

According to a press release, a majority at 77% still expect the business situation to remain the same.

The precision engineering cluster is the most optimistic, with a net weighted balance of 22% of firms anticipating improved business conditions ahead.

"This optimism is led by the machinery & systems segment which foresees higher demand for semiconductor-related equipment, as well as measuring devices supporting the wireless communications and automotive industries in months ahead," EDB said.

In the chemicals cluster, a net weighted balance of 17% of firms projects an improved business situation.

EDB commented, "Within the cluster, the petroleum segment expects winter and year-end festive season to support the demand for oil products such as kerosene and naphtha. Additionally, the specialties and other chemicals segments anticipate higher export orders for mineral oil additives and fragrances respectively in the months ahead."

Meanwhile, 12% of biomedical manufacturing firms and 7% of transport engineering firms expect a good business outlook.

The general manufacturing industries and electronics clusters are the least optimistic, with a net weighted balance of 9% and 11% of firms expecting a less favourable operating environment, respectively.

"The general manufacturing industries cluster’s outlook is weighed down largely by the lacklustre domestic construction activities. In the electronics cluster, most of the segments anticipate business prospects to be seasonally softer over the next six months," EDB said.

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