Soft market conditions are causing business leaders and managers to approach 2017 with caution.

The economic downturn is causing many Singaporean managers and leaders to be uncertain of the year ahead.

Nearly 60% of some 500 Singaporean professionals from middle-level management to C-suite executives surveyed in RGF’s Market Outlook Report 2017, believe that their sectors are not expected to recover this year.

Results for the manufacturing, engineering and industrial sectors were polarising, with 32% indicating they were optimistic, but 39% saying they were pessimistic about the market outlook.

Energy and financial services were two other sectors that recorded significant negative outlook at 20% and 10% respectively.

There was plenty of optimism in the life science, healthcare, pharmaceutical and IT sectors, which was expected, due to increased foreign investments and support from the Singapore Government in 2016.

Hiring outlook results were largely mixed.

Nearly 75% of employers said they had plans to increase hiring by a small margin of less than 5%, while only 2% of employers said they plan to increase hiring by 50%.

In line with the increased investments, the life science, healthcare and IT sectors, have plans to increase headcount in 2017.

Sectors which have been impacted by the economic slowdown, changing consumer behaviour and falling oil prices, have mostly decided to put a hold on headcount changes for 2017.

The digital sector, for example, plans to decrease headcount by 21% this year.

According to the report, this is because most new players in Singapore would have completed setup in the first half of 2016. In 2017, companies will start to stabilise their operations and streamline processes.

Article covered on 20 Jan 2017:

Posted On 2017-01-24