Which sectors are confident in their business outlook for H1 2024?
The accommodation industry is the most confident amongst all sectors.
Overall business confidence may have waivered but more are still optimistic from January to June 2024 with 19% of firms expecting upbeat business and 14% expecting business conditions to deteriorate, Singapore’s Department of Statistics revealed in a survey.
This resulted in a positive net weighted balance of 5% of firms expecting a more favourable business outlook.
The accommodation industry is the most confident as hoteliers expect increased tourist arrivals for leisure and business purposes. The expected increase in of meeting, conference and exhibition events and concerts contributed to the positive sentiments of firms within the industry.
Meanwhile, with Chinese New Year around the corner, retailers are feeling positive for the first half of 2024 compared to the July to December 2023 period, as they anticipate an increase in shopping activities during the Chinese New Year festival as well as the disbursement of a larger amount of Community Development Council (CDC) vouchers in January 2024.
The finance and insurance industry expects a pick-up in their businesses for the next 6 months. Within the industry, payment service providers attributed their positive sentiments to the rise in e-commerce spending, which will positively impact their business.
On the other hand, the transportation and storage industry expects business conditions to be challenging for the next 6 months. For their negative sentiments, water transport firms highlight reduced market demand amid economic uncertainties.
Similarly, food and beverage operators are less optimistic about the business prospects for H1 2024 compared to the period of H2 2023, which coincided with the year-end holiday and the festive season.
Hiring activities to keep pace
The accommodation industry will increase the hiring pace as more leisure and business travellers arrive.
Meanwhile, because of their positive revenue outlook for the year, firms in the recreation, community & personal services industry expect employment levels to increase.
The Business Expectations Survey for the services sector is conducted quarterly by the Singapore Department of Statistics. The first quarter 2024 survey was conducted from December 2023 to January 2024. It is a survey aimed at obtaining the business outlook for the immediate future of firms in the services sector.