ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Singapore business optimism for 2018 rises to two-year high

Optimism rose 26 ppt to 6%, whilst expected profitability rose 22 ppt to 2%.

Singapore's business optimism and profitability expectations are rising, advisory firm Grant Thornton revealed.

According to its annual survey, two indicators reached their two-year highs. Singapore business optimism rose by 26 ppt from -20% to 6%, whilst anticipated profits over the coming year went up 22 ppt from -20% to 2%.

However, this is significantly lower than the averages for the Asia Pacific (APAC) region of 41% for optimism and 37% for profitability.

The biggest APAC opportunities over next five years cited by Singapore businesses are increased ASEAN cooperation at 54%, the globalization of supply chains at 30%, the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership (TPP) at 28%, and automation at 28%.

Meanwhile, Singapore businesses said that the biggest threats to the APAC region over the next five years are the ageing population at 46%, automation at 36%, and regional conflicts regarding territorial rights 32%.

China's “One Belt One Road" initiative is seen indifferently by Singapore businesses, with 36% saying it will have an impact, 22% saying they did not think it would have an impact, and the remainder not sure.

Meanwhile, 18% of Singapore businesses are confident that regional and geopolitical events will create a business environment that allows free trade to prosper over the next 5 years, whilst 20% are not confident, and the remainder are not sure.

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