Singapore's service sector revenue up 16.6% in second quarter

SINGAPORE – The service sector saw double-digit year-on-year growth in the second quarter of 2021, with all segments registering higher business receipts.

This rise was partly due to the low base in 2020 with that year’s circuit breaker and other Covid-19 restrictions.

Overall business receipts of the service industries increased 16.6 per cent year on year in the second quarter, reversing the 1.5 per cent decline seen in the first quarter of the year, according to data released by the Singapore Department of Statistics (SingStat) on Friday (Aug 27).

The figure excludes wholesale and retail trade, accommodation and food services.

Receipts also improved 1.9 per cent on a quarter-on-quarter non-seasonally adjusted basis.

The quarterly performance was mixed among the service industries, SingStat noted.

The recreation and personal services industry recorded a substantial 135 per cent year-on-year growth, benefiting from the low base seen last year when non-essential services such as attractions and sports facilities were closed during Singapore’s circuit breaker period.

The information and communications industry reported a 38.2 per cent increase in revenue, attributed mainly to software publishers, including game publishers.

At the same time, the health and social services industry registered a 24.6 per cent growth in receipts. This was due to a lower base in 2020 when non-urgent elective surgical procedures were postponed during the circuit breaker.

On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the information and communications industry saw the largest increase in revenue.

It recorded a 10.5 per cent growth in the second quarter compared with the first three months of this year. Within the industry, firms which reported higher revenue were those engaged in information service activities which included Web hosting and Web portal services, such as online marketplaces and search engines.

The transportation and storage industry recorded a 10 per cent quarter-on-quarter rise in receipts, due mainly to shipping lines which saw an increase in freight rates and volume.

The professional services and administrative and support services segments also saw higher revenue in the second quarter.

On the other hand, the recreation and personal services industry saw the largest decline in turnover.

The 8.7 per cent quarter-on-quarter dip was attributed mainly to firms in the gaming and attractions segment reducing visitor capacity in line with tighter measures implemented during the phase two (heightened alert) period in May and June.

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