Payment performance of Singapore firms improves in Q4 2014

PAYMENT performance of Singapore firms rebounded for the first time in the fourth quarter of 2014 (Q4 2014) after three consecutive quarters of sustained decline, going by the Singapore Commercial Credit Bureau's (SCCB) latest payment report.

Overall prompt payments jumped by 4.10 percentage points from 45.97 per cent in Q3 2014 to 50.07 per cent in Q4 2014, reversing a downtrend that was seen since Q1 2014. However, year-on-year (y-o-y) prompt payments declined by 7.66 percentage points from 57.73 per cent a year ago to 50.07 per cent.

For Q4 2014, about half of the payment transactions were made on time as the proportion of prompt payments sprung back to the 50 per cent mark since Q3 2014, when prompt payments hit an all-time peak of 57.73 per cent.

The proportion of payment delays also slipped moderately by 3.03 percentage points from 41.92 per cent in Q3 2014 to 38.89 per cent in Q4 2014, falling below the 40 per cent mark as compared to Q3 2014 when more than two-fifths of payment transactions were overdue. However, y-o-y slow payments climbed by 6.05 percentage points from 32.84 per cent in Q4 2013 to 38.89 per cent in Q4 2014.

From a sectoral perspective, payment performance improved in Q4 2014 with four of five industries (construction, manufacturing, retail, services and wholesale) recording a fall in the proportion of slow payments quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q), according to the SCCB report. The construction industry was the only one which experienced an increase in q-o-q payment delays.

However, y-o-y overall payment delays worsened with four of the five industries experiencing a rise in proportion of slow payments. According to SCCB, the retail sector was the only industry which experienced a fall in y-o-y payment delays in Q4 2014.

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