Forecast for 2018: Singapore employees to receive 2.7% real wage increase

Singapore professionals can expect to see a real salary increase of 2.7% in the coming year, after factoring in inflation which is predicted to be 1.3%.

When compared to the rest of Asia in terms of pay rise table, Singapore maintains its spot near the middle at No.9 out of 20 countries and ahead of Hong Kong.

The figures are according to the latest Salary Trends report released on Nov 14 by ECA International, a global company which provides data, software and mobile expertise to multinational companies (MNCs).

It was based on information collected from 260 MNCs in 72 countries from August to September this year and included data across all pay ranks in various industries such as legal & professional services, engineering & technology and financial services.

ECA International’s regional director of Asia Mr Lee Quane said: “Over the past few years, inflation in Singapore has increased while nominal salary increases have stayed flat, which has had the effect of slowly eroding pay rises in real terms.

“Despite this, the salary increases for 2017 and 2018 are higher than in Hong Kong and compare favourably with other developed countries in the regional and globally.”

Based on global rankings, Asia-Pacific countries occupy eight out of the top 10 spots with India coming in No.1 for the region next year with a real salary increase of 4.9% predicted.

Meanwhile, employees in Japan will receive the lowest rate of increase next year with companies forecasting salaries to increase by 2.2% in nominal terms.

In real terms, Australians will see the lowest increase in their pay with real wages expected to rise only 0.8%.

In Malaysia, low unemployment and a strong economy have kept wage increases above 5% for several yeas and this trend is set to continue next year. ‘

“Employees look set for a boost in real salary increases as inflation is forecast to fall back slightly,” said an ECA International statement, referring to the situation in Malaysia.

The global top spot for salary increases is clinched by Argentina – which jumped 22 places – which is set to receive an impressive 7.2% real salary rise next year.

Mr Quane added: “President Macri’s market-friendly policies are expected to bear fruit in Argentina next year, causing inflation to cool and bringing respite to hard-pressed workers after years of low or negative real salary increases.”