MANUFACTURING firms are looking a little less optimistic about the second half of 2015, according to a quarterly Economic Development Board (EDB) survey report released on Friday.
Of the more than 400 manufacturers polled between June and July, 16 per cent expect the business climate to improve - slightly outnumbering the 14 per cent that expect it to deteriorate. The rest do not expect any change.
That translates into a positive net weighted balance - the difference between the proportion of optimistic and pessimistic firms - of 2 per cent, which is lower than the 5 per cent seen a quarter earlier.
The biomedical manufacturing cluster is the most optimistic, with a net weighted balance of 33 per cent of firms anticipating improved business conditions in the six months ending December 2015.
On the other hand, the chemical and transport engineering clusters have a gloomier outlook. For the former, a net weighted balance of 15 per cent of chemical firms projects a less favourable business situation.
Within the transport engineering cluster, the marine and offshore engineering segment foresees weaker orders continuing into H2 2015. This is due to low oil prices, which have impacted offshore exploration and drilling activities.