Business confidence rises despite fall in investment in Singapore

  • Island-republic recovers, signs of optimism on the horizon
  • 51% of Singapore sample, up from 34%, optimistic about economy

Business confidence rises despite fall in investment in SingaporeTHE GECS (Global Economic Conditions Survey) quarterly survey, a regular economic survey of accountants, revealed that while business investment fell in Singapore in the last quarter of 2013, confidence within businesses of those surveyed actually rose in the final months of the year.
Some 19% of the Singapore sample reported confidence gains, up from 18% in the third quarter of 2013, and the share of respondents who reported a loss of confidence in the prospects of their own organisations fell from 41% to 32%, according to the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and IMA (Institute of Management Accountants) which conduct the annual survey.
This latest is the 20th edition of the GECS, which the ACCA and IMA say is the largest regular economic survey of accountants in the world, both in terms of the number of respondents and in terms of the numbers and scope of economic variables it monitors.
Perceptions of the economy improved modestly in Singapore, crossing over into positive territory, the two organisations said in a statement.
For the first time, more than half of the Singapore sample (51%, up from 34%) were optimistic about the state of the economy, while the pessimists made up 46%, down from 55%.
The survey also revealed that finance professionals had more faith in the strength of the global economic recovery in Q4 2013 than at any time over the last five years: 55% believed conditions were improving or about to do so, up from 53% in the third quarter of 2013, while only 42% felt that economic conditions were deteriorating or stagnating, down from 43% in the previous quarter.
The Q4 2013 results represent the second-strongest year-on-year confidence gains since mid-2010, the ACCA and IMA said.
“Faith in the economy is pointing in the right direction in Singapore, but the businesses our members are working in, while showing more confidence in their future prospects, are not seeing that translated into investment as yet,” said Leong Soo Yee, head of ACCA Singapore.
“The rising confidence in the economy, as well as in their own businesses, could mean business opportunities would eventually improve,” Leong added.
Read the GECS Q4 2013 report here.
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