22% of manufacturers anticipate favourable business conditions
Meanwhile, 6% are pessimistic about the next 6 months.
Around 22% of manufacturing firms in Singapore are optimistic about their business prospects for the period of October 2021 to March 2022, according to EDB Singapore's Business Expectations Survey of the manufacturing sector.
On the other hand, 6% have a weaker business outlook, which leads to an overall balance of 16% of manufacturing firms anticipating a favourable business situation.
The electronics cluster is the most optimistic in this fourth-quarter survey, due to the robust demand for semiconductors from the 5G, cloud services, and data centre markets.
This was followed by the transport engineering cluster, as firms in the aerospace segment expect a higher volume of maintenance, repair and overhaul from the easing of international travel. Whilst the land segment foresee stronger demand for automotive parts, the marine and offshore engineering segment continues to expect a lacklustre business situation as new orders remain weak.
Whilst biomedical manufacturing, precision engineering, and general manufacturing industries are optimistic on the next six months, the chemicals industry continue to be pessimistic.
“The petroleum segment expects planned turnarounds to weigh down refining throughput in the December quarter while the specialties segment foresees a decline in production in anticipation of weaker exports to the region,” EDB explained in a press statement.
On employment, a weighted 71% of manufacturing firms expect the fourth quarter of 2021 employment level to remain similar to the previous quarter. A net weighted balance of 11% of manufacturing firms expect to grow their workforce in the next three months, particularly in the biomedical manufacturing and electronics clusters.
On export orders, a weighted 73% of firms say there are no limiting factors that would affect their ability to export in the fourth quarter. Firms who expect challenges cited the COVID-19 pandemic and price competition from overseas firms as the top two limiting factors.