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Business expectations of services, manufacturing sectors for first-half 2018 still sanguine: EDB, DOS
MORE companies in the services and manufacturing sectors still expect business prospects for the next six months to improve, but sentiment for both have dipped since the previous quarter.
Results of two surveys on firms' business expectations for January to June 2018 were released separately on Wednesday. The Economic Development Board (EDB) shared its findings on the manufacturing sector, while the Department of Statistics (DOS) reported on services.
The services sector showed the most optimism, with a net weighted balance of 3 per cent of firms who forecast more favourable business conditions.
This is down from the net weighted balance of 9 per cent recorded in the previous quarter's survey, but still an improvement from the -14 per cent recorded for the same period last year.
The net weighted balance is the difference between the proportion of optimistic and pessimistic firms.
A weighted 15 per cent of firms in the services sector are optimistic about the business conditions in the next six months, while a weighted 12 per cent of firms foresee slower business.
Within the services sector, the financial and insurance; wholesale trade and recreation; community and personal services industries are among those with more upbeat sentiment.
On the other side, accommodation; transport and storage; and food and beverage services industries are less optimistic in their business outlook.
As for manufacturing, only a net weighted balance of 1 per cent of firms expect an improved business situation for the period January to June 2018.
A weighted 13 per cent of manufacturers expects business conditions to improve while a weighted 12 per cent foresee a deteriorating business outlook.
Within the manufacturing sector, the precision engineering cluster is the most optimistic in the first half of 2018, with a net weighted balance of 36 per cent of firms anticipating improved business conditions ahead.
On the other hand, the general manufacturing industries and electronics clusters are the least optimistic, with a net weighted balance of 10 per cent of firms in each cluster expecting a weaker operating environment in the next six months.
For both manufacturing and services, the majority of firms expect the business situation to maintain status quo.