Malaysia business confidence softens in 1Q19

By BERNAMA / Pic By TMR File

Malaysia’s business confidence in the first quarter of 2019 (1Q19) softens with the confidence indicator easing -2.2% after increasing 7.1% in 4Q18.

The Statistics Department said the industry, construction, and wholesale and retail trade sectors expect their business situation to decline in 1Q19 with confidence indicators of -3.6%, -18.9% and -8.2% respectively.

However, the services sector anticipates their business situation to improve at a moderate rate with a lower confidence indicator of +5.9% compared to +18.8% recorded in the last quarter.

Gross revenue is also expected to increase with a net balance of +11.8%, said the Statistics Department in its “2019 First Quarter Business Tendency Statistics” released yesterday.

“A total of 30.4% of the respondents anticipate their gross revenue to increase, while 51% (felt it will remain) unchanged and 18.6% foresee a decrease in gross revenue,” it said.

In terms of employee numbers, the hiring trend remains positive in 1Q19 with a net balance recording of +3.5%, said the department.

A total of 8.5% of the establishments intend to increase their workforce, while 5% of them expect to reduce the number of employees in 1Q19, it added.

Meanwhile, the business performance from January to June 2019, is expected to turn less optimistic with the overall net balance registering +0.6% compared to +12.3% recorded in the previous survey results period.

The department said respondents in the industry and services sectors anticipate positive business conditions for the period under review but lower at +0.5% and +7.5% respectively.

“The construction, and wholesale and retail trade sectors expect the business situation to deteriorate with a net balance of -24.5% and -6.4% respectively,” it added. — Bernama