ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Singapore firms slapped with sharply higher business costs in December

Costs rose at the steepest pace in 11 months.

Singapore firms faced a sharp increase in business costs in December, according to the Purchasing Manager’s Index report by Nikkei and Markit.

Total cost burdens increased at the quickest rate in 11 months, driven by faster rises in both purchasing prices and staffing costs. Companies only passed on part of their higher cost burdens, however, and raised their selling prices marginally.

However, overall demand conditions appeared relatively muted, with total new work broadly stagnating in December, while new export orders rose at a weaker pace. 

The PMI was little-changed from November’s reading of 52.2, posting at 52.1 in December. The health of the economy has now strengthened in each of the past seven months, though the rate of improvement remained moderate overall.

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