The latest Salary Trends Survey conducted by Employment Conditions Abroad International (ECA) found that Singaporeans will see their salaries increase by 4 percent in 2018. However, when inflation is taken into account (predicted to be 1.3 percent next year), employees are forecast to get a real-time pay increase of only 2.7 percent in 2018, slightly down from 2.9 in 2017.
This finding places Singapore near the middle of overall salary increase table in Asia, ahead of Hong Kong. Singapore was ranked on the 9th place out of 20 countries surveyed in the region.
Regional Director of ECA International for Asia, Lee Quane said that for the past few years, inflation in Singapore has increased, despite nominal salary increases have stayed flat. Such condition has slowly eroded the pay rises in real times.
However, he noted that Singaporeans salary increases for 2017 and 2018 remain higher than in Hong Kong and compare favourably with other developed economies in the region and globally. It suggests that Singapore economy continues to perform well on the back of global economy recovery.
The survey also found that low unemployment and a strong economy in Malaysia have contributed to keep wage increases above 5 percent for several years, and this trend is expected to continue in 2018. Employees can expect a boost in real salary increases since inflation is forecast to fall back slightly.
Despite recent slowing down economic growth, companies in China are expected to provide staff with an average salary increase of about 6 percent next year. Relatively low inflation will mean that mainland China will once again place among the top ten countries with the highest real rates of increase next year.
“A forecast average rate of increase in China of 6 percent is higher than the 5.5 percent awarded on average in 2017. This points to improved business sentiment in China, which perhaps shows that employers are more positive for the prospects of both the domestic and global economy in 2018,” said Quane.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong employees can expect to see a real-time salary increase of 1.8 percent in 2018, which makes the country near the bottom of real pay increase table in Asia, and ranks 16th out of 20 countries surveyed in the region.
Overall, real salary increases in Asia-Pacific will continue to lead the world in 2018, occupying eight of the top ten positions in the global rankings. India is expected to remain on the top regional list, with 4.9 percent of predicted real rate increase. Also in the list are India’s sub-continent nations of Pakistan and Bangladesh, along with other ASEAN nations of Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and Cambodia as well as China.
Within APAC region, employees in Japan will get the lowest rate of increase in 2018 with companies forecasting salaries to increase by 2.2 percent in nominal terms. However, when it comes to the real terms, Australians will receive the lowest increase in their earnings in 2018, with real wages expected to rise by only 0.8 percent.