BUSINESS sentiment for the coming July to September quarter has inched up, though it is still relatively muted, according to the Singapore Commercial Credit Bureau's (SCCB) latest quarterly Business Optimism Index (BOI) study.
The index is at 1.11 percentage points, up from 0.89 percentage point three months ago, but down significantly from 14.6 percentage points a year ago.
The construction sector was the most optimistic sector for the second consecutive quarter because of an expected increase in public construction contracts being awarded in the coming months.
The financial sector was the second most optimistic sector due to robust activities within the insurance and banking segments.
The wholesale sector was also optimistic due to an expected increase in commercial demand.
But business sentiment in the services sector deteriorated as retail activities within consumer-facing segments are expected to remain weak.
The manufacturing sector also remains downbeat.
The SCCB, which operates a database of local enterprises and their credit history, conducts the business expectation survey every quarter. Some 200 business owners and senior executives representing major industry sectors across Singapore are asked if they expect increases, decreases or no changes in their upcoming quarterly sales, profits, employment, new orders, inventories and selling prices.