, Singapore

More SME business owners expect their performance to decline in the next 6 months

Less than two in 10 business owners (17%) expect it to worsen.

Amidst the slow economic growth, more small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) business owners are expecting their performance to worsen in the next six months.

According to the recent OCBC SME business outlook study, 17% expect a decline, higher than the 15% recorded last quarter.

Also revealed in the study is 47% of SME owners said they are expecting an improvement in business performance for the next two quarters. Four in 10 (37%) said they expect an unchanged business performance.

The study used the poll conducted in March 2023, looking into the views of 950 business owners.

SME index

The OCBC study also found that the building & construction, F&B, and services continued to register expansionary readings in 1Q 2023, but the overall SME index declined due to weakening growth from industries – transport & logistics, wholesale trade, and ICT.

The OCBC SME Index is likely to ease slightly moving in the second quarter of 2023.

“Although the economic outlook in the region has improved somewhat with the re-opening of China’s economy, the continued weakness in manufacturing and trade globally, with persistent inflation, is likely to slow the business momentum,” read the study.

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