SINGAPORE: Companies in Asia Pacific including Singapore are planning to raise salaries this year to help employees cope with inflation, according to a survey by human resources consultancy firm Towers Watson.
The online survey, conducted between February and March, covered 18 countries.
It found that employers in more developed markets are budgeting salary increases of about 3 to 5 per cent, whereas salary budgets are projected to increase by about 6 to 12 per cent in emerging markets.
Respondents from Vietnam and India are budgeting double-digit salary growth.
Vietnamese employers plan to raise wages by 12.2 per cent, while Indian bosses are budgeting for a 11.5 per cent increase.
Respondents in Indonesia plan to raise salaries by 9.5 per cent, with Chinese employers close on the heels with 8.8 per cent.
Respondents from Japan are planning the lowest increase, at 2.6 per cent.
In Singapore, employers are planning to increase wages by 4.5 per cent.
Companies in Singapore’s financial services sector are budgeting for the greatest wage hike of 5.1 per cent, followed by the pharmaceutical industry (5 per cent), automotive (4.9 per cent), chemical (4.8 per cent), fast-moving consumer goods (4.5 per cent), high-tech industry (4.4 per cent) and energy sector (3.9 per cent).
Towers Watson’s Global Data Services Practice Leader for Asia Pacific, Rachelle C Arcebal, said: “When employees grapple with the rising cost of living, they naturally look to receive higher pay from current employers or look for alternative jobs which could offer higher compensation.
“Companies need to be able to find the balance between meeting these expectations and practising prudent financial planning. While it is important to keep wages competitive and retain talent, it is also imperative that compensation levels do not increase to unsustainable levels.”
Six in 10 employers surveyed said business outlook for the year is neutral and they expect flat growth.
Nearly three in 10 project weaker business performance this year, while one in 10 expects business to improve.