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BUSINESSES are significantly less hopeful in the fourth quarter of this year than a quarter ago - with sentiment reaching its second-lowest level in nearly three years - a Business Optimism Index (BOI) study on Tuesday showed.
The index dived to 0.14 percentage point in Q4, from 14.60 percentage points in Q3. From a year ago, this was also down from 10.79 percentage points, according to the index created by Dun & Bradstreet-Singapore Commercial Credit Bureau (SCCB).
Both expectations in volume of sales and net profits have plunged significantly into the contractionary zone for the first time since Q1 of this year.
In 2013, the BOI hit a historic low of -0.82 percentage point in Q1.
"Prevailing global economic uncertainty continues to weigh on expectations of the Asean business community," SCCB said in a press statement.