More revenue for Singapore’s service sector in Q3 than Q2

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Singapore’s service sector reported a 9.5 per cent year-on-year drop in receipts in the third quarter, although receipts improved on a quarterly basis compared with the second quarter – the Republic’s circuit breaker period – according to the Singapore Department of Statistics (SingStat) yesterday.

The third-quarter performance marks a smaller contraction than that seen during the second quarter’s year-on-year decline of 13.4 per cent.

All industries except information and communications services registered lower business receipts year on year, said SingStat.

The figures exclude wholesale and retail trade and accommodation and food services.

On a quarter-on-quarter non-seasonally adjusted basis, however, overall business receipts grew 5.4 per cent in the third quarter, compared with the low base of activities due to circuit breaker measures imposed during Singapore’s partial economic shutdown in April and May.

All industries except financial and insurance reported higher revenue quarter on quarter, SingStat said.

Among all the categories, recreation and personal services saw the largest drop of 41.3 per cent in revenue, attributed mainly to companies in the attractions segment.

On a quarterly basis, however, this category surged 137 per cent from the second quarter, when most attractions and sports facilities were closed.

Transport and storage saw the next biggest decline in revenue at 21.6 per cent year on year, largely due to the disruption affecting the air transport segment amid the Covid-19 pandemic. But they saw a quarterly improvement of 3.6 per cent from the second quarter.

Business services took 14 per cent less revenue year on year, but on a quarterly basis, receipts rose 7.2 per cent.

Firms in the professional services, such as those providing legal, business and management consultancy and architectural and engineering services, registered lower revenue owing to weaker demand for their services, SingStat said.

Although health and social services reported a 1.8 per cent year-on-year drop in receipts, revenue jumped 15.8 per cent quarter on quarter, with resuming non-urgent elective surgery in the third quarter.

Information and communications services appear to be the brightest spot, registering both yearly and quarterly growth.

Revenue rose 3.5 per cent year on year and 5.6 per cent quarter on quarter. This was mainly because software publishers and firms engaged in information service activities such as Web hosting and Web portal services saw a rise in demand for their services, SingStat said.

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