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SINGAPORE companies have improved in their bill payment in the second quarter, following a sharp deterioration in the first quarter, according to Singapore Commercial Credit Bureau.
Overall prompt payments increased by 4.81 percentage points from the first quarter to 45.92 per cent in the second quarter, while slow payments slipped by 3.97 percentage points to 46.58 per cent on a quarter-to-quarter basis.
The fall in slow payments were seen across all five industries of construction, manufacturing, retail, services and wholesale.
On a year-on-year basis, however, three of the five - construction, services and wholesale - have been more tardy in paying their bills.
The overall uptick in payment performance was largely due to the spillover effects of higher number of tourist arrivals, and a reversal in certain manufacturing segments such as pharmaceuticals and electronics clusters, said D&B Singapore CEO Audrey Chia.
"However, due to a prolonged weakness of external trade and a softening in the business services sector, quarter-on-quarter improvements in payment performance for both wholesale and services sectors were relatively marginal compared to other sectors," she noted. "Hence, firms will have to continue to exercise credit vigilance before extending credit terms to their business partners."