by LYDIA NATHAN / pic by BLOOMBERG
THE business sentiment among Malaysian firms has depreciated in the third quarter of 2021 (3Q21) after four consecutive quarters of improvement, according to Dun & Bradstreet (M) Sdn. Bhd (D&B Malaysia).
In its 34th report, it said the Business Optimism Index (BOI) dipped marginally from -6.81% in 2Q21 to -8.06% in 3Q21.
On a year-to-year (YoY) basis, the BOI climbed moderately from -13.33% in 3Q20 to -8.06% to 3Q21.
For this quarter, all six of the indicators including volume of sales, net profits, selling price, inventory level, employees and new orders remained in the contractionary zone.
D&B Malaysia CEO Audrey Chia said there was a slight deterioration in sentiment of Malaysian businesses owing largely to the resurgence in Covid-19 infections and tightening of measures in the recent months.
“As certain economic sectors such as construction, consumer-facing services and transportation sectors have been adversely affected, the dampened outlook is likely to be prolonged than anticipated. Moving into 3Q, we expect the outlook to be uneven across sectors as the reopening of the economy is likely to be gradual and cautious in the coming months,” Chia said.
The manufacturing and wholesale sectors remained moderately upbeat, while the construction, services and transportation sectors remained downbeat.
Both the wholesale and manufacturing sector are steady with three of six indicators in the positive zone, while the financial sector experienced a moderation in business sentiment, with only one indicator in positive territory compared to three indicators in the previous quarter.
Meanwhile, the transportation sector remains pessimistic with four of six indicators in negative territory, while almost similar to both the construction and services sector which recorded five out of six indicators as negative.
Separately, Malaysia Productivity Corp (MPC) urged industries and organisations to adopt Malaysia Business Excellence Framework to achieve business sustainability, competitive advantage and operational excellence.
According to MPC DG Datuk Abdul Latif Abu Seman, organisations that hooked to the operational excellence proven to be more resilient and surviving during the challenging period.
“Achieving operational excellence helps organisations to stay competitive and make customers happy while keeping costs low. An excellence-oriented culture has never been more important for an organisation to withstand change and accelerate growth while acting fast to the unprecedented challenges ,” he said.