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Slow payments fall to near two-year low in Q1 2024

The construction, manufacturing, and services industries all saw a QoQ decrease in slow payments.

Slow payments in Singapore fell to a near two-year low in the first quarter of 2024, as per Singapore Commercial Credit Bureau (SCCB).

According to the data, slow payments slightly decreased from 44.15% in Q4 2023 to 44.12% in Q1 2024, and on a year-on-year (YoY) basis, it dropped from 44.22% in Q1 2023 to 44.12% in Q1 2024.

Meanwhile, prompt payments increased quarter-on-quarter from 41.05% in Q4 2023 to 41.07% in Q1 2024, and YoY, it rose slightly from 41.03% in Q1 2023 to 41.07% in Q1 2024. 

Additionally, partial payments also edged up marginally by 0.01 percentage points from 14.80% in Q4 2023 to 14.81% in Q1 2024, indicating a balanced financial landscape.

“Payment delays have in particular hit a near two-year low since Q2 2022 despite a slight deterioration in both the retail and wholesale sectors,” said Audrey Chia, chief executive officer of SCCB.

“With rising cost pressures, firms will have to continue to exercise credit vigilance and adopt good cashflow management practices,” she said.

Across sectors, construction witnessed a continued downward trajectory in slow payments, declining by 0.12 percentage points in Q1 2024, with heavy construction contributing significantly to the sector's overall improvement. 

Meanwhile, manufacturers experienced a consecutive quarter of reduced payment delays, attributed to improvements in electronics, chemicals, and transportation equipment sectors. 

However, the retail sector witnessed a slight increase in payment delays, primarily driven by segments such as automobiles, food and beverages, and furniture. 

The services sector continued its positive trend, marking a fourth consecutive quarter of improved payment behavior, particularly noticeable in hospitality, health, and consumer services. 

Despite challenges, such as rising cost pressures, wholesale trade faced a minor setback with a slight increase in slow payments, reflecting challenges in both durable and non-durable goods segments.


 

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