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Singapore workers to see 2.7% real pay increase next year: survey

WORKERS in Singapore can expect to see a real salary increase of 2.7 per cent in 2018, according to the latest Salary Trends survey by ECA International (ECA).

The figure factors in inflation, which the survey indicated to be approximately 1.3 per cent for the coming year.

This means that wage-earners should expect to see a nominal salary increase of four per cent in 2018.

"Over the past few years inflation in Singapore has increased while nominal salary increases have stayed flat, which has had the effect of slowly eroding pay rises in real terms," said Lee Quane, ECA's regional director of Asia.

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"Despite this, the salary increases for 2017 and 2018 compare favourably with other developed economies in the region and globally," he added. "This reflects the fact that the Singapore economy continues to perform well on the back of global economic recovery."

Its projected wage growth ranks Singapore 9th out of the 20 countries surveyed in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region and 14th globally.

Argentina topped the global list with a projected real wage growth of 7.2 per cent.

"President Macri's market-friendly policies are expected to bear fruit in Argentina next year, causing inflation to cool and bringing respite to hard-pressed workers after years of low or negative real salary increases," Mr Quane added.

Led by India in second place with a real wage growth of 4.9 per cent, APAC countries occupied eight of the top ten spots in the global rankings - with all locations expecting to receive above-inflation salary increases.

Among South-east Asian countries surveyed, Vietnam and Indonesia ranked a joint fourth globally, ahead of Thailand (6th) and Cambodia (10th).

Bouyed by low unemployment and a strong economy, workers in Malaysia (ranked 20th) - who have seen wage increases above five per cent for several years - can expect such raises to continue in 2018 with inflation in Malaysia forecasted to fall back slightly, the survey found.

China ranked fifth globally with wage earners predicted to have six per cent real wage increments - higher than the 5.5 per cent awarded on average in 2017 - while, Hong Kongers are expected to see a real salary increase of 1.8 per cent in 2018.

However, Australians will see the lowest increase in their earnings in 2018, with real wages expected to rise by only 0.8 per cent, the survey found.

In Europe, expected real salary increases remain low. Real wage growth in Germany and France is expected to be 1.2 per cent and 0.9 per cent respectively while the UK will see the lowest rate of real wage growth in the region at 0.2 per cent.

In North America, the US and Canada are set to remain steady, with real wages growing at 0.9 and 1.1 per cent respectively.

The survey by ECA, a provider of data, specialist software, consultancy and training, is based on information collected from 260 multinational companies across 72 countries.