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Confidence in Singapore’s economy falls

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Business confidence in the Singapore market has decreased as a result of inflation and cash flow pressures.

Findings from The Global Economic Condition Survey (GECS) by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Institute of Management Accountants, found confidence gains in the local economy were lower in the third quarter of this year, as compared with the second.

“Business confidence fell in Singapore during the third quarter of 2013, with only 18% of respondents reporting confidence gains – down from 26% previously,” it stated.

Fewer prospects for business, specifically for finance professionals, were cited as the driving factor behind these figures.

“This loss of confidence is mostly down to reduced prospects for Singapore’s businesses. Finance professionals reported fewer business opportunities in Q3 – these have fallen substantially over the last nine months, and are now down year on year,” the survey said.

In addition, a rise in inflation and pressures on demand and cash flow were also identified as contributing to the dip in confidence.

A surge in late payments was identified to be an unexpected factor in this quarter, considering that it is “usually rarer in Singapore than elsewhere in the world,” the survey said.

However, the holistic view on the broader economy was relatively more “stable” according to the survey.

“34% of the finance professionals surveyed believe it is improving or about to do so, while 55% believe it is deteriorating or stagnating. These figures have not changed significantly since the second quarter of 2013,” it reported.

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