SINGAPORE (June 10): Business sentiment among local firms remained tepid for 3Q19 despite a slight rebounded for the first time after three straight quarters of decline, according to Singapore Commercial Credit Bureau (SCCB)’s Business Optimism Index quarterly study.

On a year-on-year basis, BOI fell from +10.58 percentage points in 3Q18 to +6.91 percentage points in 3Q19.

BOI inched marginally upwards from +5.08 percentage points in 2Q19 to +6.91 percentage points in 3Q19.

The SCCB Business Optimism Index (BOI) is a measure of business confidence in the economy.

Five of six indicators were expansionary for 3Q19, compared with 2Q19.

Volume of sales increased to +9.76 percentage points in 3Q19, compared to +8.0 percentage points in 2Q19. Net profit remained in positive territory at +8.13 percentage points in 3Q19 compared to +5.0 percentage points in 2Q19. Inventory levels rebounded to +3.25 percentage points in 3Q19 compared to -1.50 percentage points in 2Q19. New orders fell to +11.38 percentage points in 3Q19 from +8.5 percentage points in 2Q19.

However, selling price fell into the negative zone of -7.32 percentage points in 3Q19 from +4.0 percentage points in 2Q19.

Sector-wise, services was the most optimistic sectors in 3Q19. This was followed by the financial services as the second most optimistic sector and construction as the third most optimistic with moderate improvement.

At the other end, manufacturing was one of the least optimistic sectors due to a slowdown in the semiconductors sub-segment. The transportation sector also saw a downward moderation due mainly to a contraction within the water transport segment.