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Singapore manufacturers grow more pessimistic

WEAK business sentiment is spreading through Singapore's manufacturing sector, on the back of global economic uncertainties, the ongoing slowdown in China, and lower oil prices, said a quarterly Economic Development Board (EDB) survey report released on Friday.

Of the more than 400 manufacturers polled between December and January, 29 per cent expect business conditions to deteriorate in the next six months ending June 2016 - heavily outnumbering the 7 per cent who expect the climate to improve. The rest see no change.

That translates into a negative net weighted balance - the the difference between the proportion of optimistic and pessimistic firms - of 22 per cent.

This is a further deterioration from the negative net weighted balance of 16 per cent seen a quarter earlier.

EDB said the weak business sentiment is broad-based,with almost all clusters foreseeing a decline in the business situation in the next six months.

"The exception is the biomedical manufacturing cluster, where a net weighted balance of 17 per cent of firms anticipates a positive business outlook ahead," said EDB.