ECONOMY, MARKETS & INVESTING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Business optimism index in services sector inches up to 9%

But the real estate industry expects business to deteriorate amidst property curbs.

More firms engaged in the services sector have become more positive as +9% of them believe that business will be more favourable for H2 2018 from +8% in H1, the Department of Statistics Singapore (SingStat) revealed.

The agency found that 17% in the services sector are optimistic about business for the second half of the year. Meanwhile, 75% believe businesses will remain stable whilst 8% think that businesses will deteriorate.

All industries within the services sector are anticipating favourable conditions for H2 2018 except for the real estate industry (-13%).

“In particular, real estate developers expect the recent government property cooling measures including the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) and the Loan-to-Value limits to have a negative impact on the property market,” SingStat noted.

Amongst the industries in the sector, accommodation (+38%) and food and beverage (+37%) are the most optimistic for H2 2018, followed by business services (+17%), financial and insurance (+14%), and recreation, community, and personal services (+12%).

Other industries including information and communication (+9%), retail trade (+7%), transport and storage (+6%), and wholesale trade (+4%) also displayed positive outlook for their businesses.

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