Cautious Budget spending necessary for long-term planning: Heng Swee Keat

SINGAPORE (Mar 4): Singapore may have accumulated huge surpluses during the current term of government, but that does not indicate an upcoming spending spree. The surpluses will also not be used to stall an impending Goods and Services Tax hike due to happen from 2021 to 2025.

On Feb 28, in rounding up parliamentary debate on the broad fiscal principles of this year’s Budget, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat explains that the planned increase in the Goods and Services Tax is necessary, and reiterated the government stance on saving for a rainy day.

Sticking to tactical cost savings could hurt APAC companies’ growth: Deloitte

SINGAPORE (July 25): Companies in Asia Pacific (APAC) region are expecting to focus on cost reduction over the next 24 months, especially in Singapore, China and India, according to a new report published by Deloitte.

Key findings from the study also revealed that while cost reduction is a common focus among the countries in the region, the majority of companies (63-83%) say they are not meeting their cost reduction goals, even as more than 40% of companies have cost improvement targets of less than 10%.

Gloom for retailers as Chinese tourists spend less on shopping

SHANGHAI (July 11): They’re still coming in droves -- but no longer buying in spades.

After propping up sales for overseas retailers over the past decade with a shopping-driven tourism agenda, Chinese visitors are no longer returning home with suitcases bulging like before.

A new survey by consultancy Oliver Wyman shows Chinese tourist numbers and holiday expenditure continuing to rise last year, even as shopping during overseas travel dropped 17% from a year earlier.

Asia Pacific spending on robotics set to double by 2020

SINGAPORE (Jan 16): Investment in robotics and related services are expected to double from the current $60 billion to more than $133 billion in the Asia Pacific region by 2020.

The figures were part of IDC’s newly released Worldwide Commercial Robotics Spending Guide, which includes data on commercial and consumer purchases of drones, after-market drone hardware, on top of the spending on robotic systems, system hardware and software, robotics-related services and after-market robotics hardware.

Japan core machinery orders fall as demand uncertainty sets in


TOKYO (Jan 16): Japan's core machinery orders fell in November at the fastest pace in seven months in a sign that some companies may be turning cautious about capital expenditure because of uncertainty over domestic and overseas demand for goods and services.

Core orders, a highly volatile data series regarded as a leading indicator of capital expenditure, fell 5.1% in November from the previous month, Cabinet office data showed on Monday, more than the median estimate for a 1.7% decline.

Shoppers’ wallets stay shut in 3Q16 and possibly beyond

SINGAPORE (Oct 5): Singapore’s retail environment continues to be challenging in 3Q, and weaker-than-expected economic growth and the soft job market is likely to affect spending for the rest of the year, Cushman & Wakefield.

This is also reflected by consumer confidence in Singapore, which has dived to its lowest since June 2009 based on figures from the Mastercard Index of Consumer Confidence for 1H2016.

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