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Overall payment performance improves in Q1, but construction sector lags

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Among the sectors, construction fared the worst in slow payments, registering a new record high since Q4 2011. On a year-on-year basis, payment delays in the sector rose by 2.24 percentage points, from 52.98 per cent in Q1 2016 to 55.22 per cent in Q1 2017.

PROMPT payments accounted for less than half of total transactions while slow payments accounted for more than two-fifths of total transactions in the first quarter of 2017, according to the latest report from the Singapore Commercial Credit Bureau (SCCB).

However, this was an improvement from a year ago.

Slow payment fell by 3.77 percentage points year on year, from 46.58 per cent in Q1 2016 to 42.81 per cent in Q1 2017. Prompt payments went up by 4.33 percentage points year on year, from 41.11 per cent in Q1 2016 to 45.44 per cent in Q1 2017.

Among the sectors, construction fared the worst in slow payments, registering a new record high since Q4 2011. On a year-on-year basis, payment delays in the sector rose by 2.24 percentage points, from 52.98 per cent in Q1 2016 to 55.22 per cent in Q1 2017.

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According to SCCB, the construction sector has also registered the highest quarter-on-quarter increase in payment delays owing to a visible deterioration of payment performance by the building construction sub-sector and special trade contractors.

Audrey Chia, D&B Singapore's chief executive officer, said: "While the overall payment performance of local firms has generally remained weak, we have seen some slight improvements in slow payments over the past two quarters. This was driven largely by better-performing domestic-oriented sectors such as manufacturing and retail."

SCCB operates under D&B Singapore.

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