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Services sector more pessimistic about business conditions till Sept, manufacturers see no change

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The services sector sees conditions worsening over the next six months, when compared with the previous six months, but the mood is slightly better than when it hit a low a quarter ago.

THE services sector sees conditions worsening over the next six months, when compared with the previous six months, but the mood is slightly better than when it hit a low a quarter ago.

Manufacturers, on the other hand, see no change in business conditions over the next six months when compared with the first quarter of this year.

Two separate surveys, released on Friday, have detailed the services and manufacturing sectors' expectations from April to September this year.

A net weighted balance of 13 per cent of firms in the services sector expect less favourable business conditions from April till September, when compared with October 2015 till March 2016.

This is better than the -18 per cent seen in previous quarter's survey, which asked them to predict conditions for January to June 2016.

It is, however, still less optimistic compared with the +3 per cent recorded for the same period last year, or April to September 2015.

The net weighted balance is the difference between the proportion of optimistic and pessimistic firms.

"All industries within the services sector, except information and communications and recreation, community and personal services, expect business activities to be less favourable during the period of April to September 2016, compared to October 2015 to March 2016," wrote the Department of Statistics which released results of the Business Expectations Survey, which covers 1,500 firms across different industries.

As for manufacturing firms, only a minute net weighted balance of one per cent of manufacturing firms here see better conditions in the period from April to September this year, when compared with the first quarter of 2016.

This stems from a weighted 15 per cent of them expecting improvement, and 14 per cent who see a deterioration.

This Economic Development Board (EDB) survey was conducted between March and April 2016. Out of a total 433 manufacturing establishments surveyed, 96 per cent responded.