It might be time to tighten your purse strings.
Real income – income of individuals after adjusting for inflation – is expected to drop by 2.7 per cent due to a small 1.5 per cent increase in total wages compared to an expected increase of 4.2 per cent in the consumer price index, according to a wage and business prospects survey by the Singapore Human Resources Institute (SHRI) and wage consulting firm Remuneration Data Specialists (RDS).
The survey, which was conducted in June and covered 167 companies in Singapore, showed that the basic wage increase this year is likely to average 4.1 per cent, similar to that for last year.
However, variable bonuses (excluding annual wage supplements) are expected to average 1.6 to 2.0 months this year, lower than the 2.2 months last year
On recruitment, 83 per cent of companies surveyed said they hired or planned to hire staff this year, which is a 6 per cent increase from last year.
There was also an uptick in companies retrenching or planning to retrench staff this year to 8 per cent from more than 3 per cent in 2011.
Majority of entry-level salaries increased by 1.9 per cent to 9.1 per cent compared to six months ago, according to the survey.
Also, 78.4 per cent of companies agreed with the National Wages Council (NWC) Guidelines for low wage workers with 64 per cent of them expecting little or no impact on their overall wage cost.
In May 2012, the NWC recommended a $50 increase in monthly salary for workers earning under $1,000, the first time in three decades the council made a quantitative rather than qualitative recommendation.
Singaporean director Anthony Chen described as “surreal” the 15-minute standing ovation that followed the world premiere of his debut feature film "Ilo Ilo" at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday. Though the ending of the premiere couldn’t have been more perfect, the 29-year-old Chen said the beginning was quite “nerve-wrecking” as it was marred by technical glitches.