Singapore's service sector revenue falls 1.5% year on year in first quarter of 2021

SINGAPORE – The service sector reported a 1.5 per cent year on year drop in revenue in the first quarter of the year, according to the Singapore Department of Statistics (SingStat) on Thursday (May 27).

This is a smaller contraction than that seen during the fourth quarter of 2020’s year-on-year decline of 7.6 per cent.

All service industries except information and communications, finance and insurance, and education registered lower business receipts on a year-on-year basis, said SingStat.

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

On a quarter-on-quarter non-seasonally adjusted basis, overall business receipts fell 0.6 per cent in the first quarter this year.

Among the service industries, quarter-on-quarter performance was mixed, SingStat noted.

Administrative and support services recorded the largest year-on-year drop of 19.9 per cent in receipts due mainly to a weaker demand for the services of firms engaged in rental and leasing of construction and air transport equipment.

Recreation and personal services saw the next biggest decline in revenue at 18.8 per cent year on year, as business activities in the attractions and gaming segments continued to be hit by the global travel restrictions as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, information and communications services appeared to be a bright spot, registering growth both on a yearly and quarterly basis. Revenue rose 21 per cent year on year and 0.8 per cent quarter on quarter.

This was attributed mainly to an increase in business activities of game publishers and Web portals, such as online marketplaces and search engines.

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