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Sentiment in Singapore's services sector worsens

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Firms in Singapore's services sector are now even more pessimistic about their short-term business prospects, according to a poll by the Department of Statistics (DOS) released on Friday.

FIRMS in Singapore's services sector are now even more pessimistic about their short-term business prospects, according to a poll by the Department of Statistics (DOS) released on Friday.

Of the 1,500 services firms polled on their business expectations for the next six months, a weighted 10 per cent is optimistic while a weighted 28 per cent foresees a slower business outlook. The rest expect no change.

This translates into a negative net weighted balance of 18 per cent - a deterioration from the negative net weighted balances of 6 per cent a quarter ago, and 4 per cent for the same period last year (January to June of 2015).

The net weighted balance - the difference between the proportion of optimistic and pessimistic firms - is a widely-used measure of the nature and extent of business sentiment. Firms were polled between December and mid-January.

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According to DOS, almost all industries within the services sector expect the level of business activity to decline for the six-month period of January to June 2016.

The accommodation and transport & storage industries are the most pessimistic, with negative net weighted balances of 48 per cent and 33 per cent respectively.

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