Business confidence grows 3.2% for 4Q22

BUSINESSES in Malaysia are expected to remain positive for the fourth quarter of this year (4Q22) despite a slower pace.

Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM) chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said businesses have registered a 3.2% increase in confidence from a 4.7% increase in 3Q22.

Within sectors, DoSM stated that the services, industry, wholesale and retail trade sectors foresee a good outlook in 4Q22.

It noted that business sentiment in the services sector remained positive, with 9.2% growth in the reference quarter compared to 13.6% growth in the previous quarter. 

Similarly, sentiment in the industry sector remains favourable, with 3.7% increase in 4Q22, compared to 6.6% growth in the previous quarter.

The wholesale and retail trade sector anticipates an improving business situation, with the confidence indicator rebounding to a positive trajectory with 1.9% increase from -5.8% in 3Q22. 

This upbeat view is mirrored by the retail trade sub-sector, where businesses are becoming more enthusiastic about their prospects, it said.

“Construction, on the other hand, has been the most pessimistic sector for consecutive quarters, with a confidence indicator of -29.2%, up from -24.9% in the previous quarter,” he said in a statement today, in conjunction with the release of DoSM’s report titled ‘Business Tendency Statistics for 4Q22’.

He also added that 32.5% of establishments anticipate an increase in gross revenue in the fourth quarter of 2022, while 29.5% anticipate a decrease, resulting in a net balance of 3% growth. 

“Concurrently, 38% of establishments expect their gross revenue to stay unchanged. In the same quarter, 68.9% of businesses predict their employment count to remain constant. A total of 21.8% of establishments intend to hire additional workers, while 9.3% intend to reduce their workforce, resulting in a positive net balance of +12.5%.

On the next six months (October 2021 to March 2023) forecast, he stated that business projections remain optimistic, with a moderate net balance of +5.9%, compared to +12.2% earlier.

“The wholesale and retail trade industry anticipates a positive business outlook in the next six months, with a net balance of +10.6%, up from a negative trend. 

“The services sector anticipates a better business situation, with a net balance of +30.8%, up from +26.5% earlier. All sub-sectors within the services sector forecast a favourable outlook for the next six months, with insurance, accommodation, and health sub-sectors being the most enthusiastic.

“In contrast, the Industry sector becomes pessimistic about the business outlook for the six months ending March 2023, with a net balance of -7.9%, down from +14.5%. Simultaneously, sentiments in the construction sector remain negative from October 2022 to March 2023, with a net balance of -20.7% against -10.3%,” he concluded. — TMR /pic TMR File