KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 28 — Malaysia’s business confidence in the first quarter of 2019 softens with the confidence indicator easing -2.2 per cent after increasing 7.1 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2018.
The Statistics Department said the industry, construction, wholesale and retail trade sectors expected their business situation to decline in the first quarter of 2019 with confidence indicators of -3.6 per cent, -18.9 per cent and -8.2 per cent, respectively.
However, the services sector anticipated their business situation to improve at a moderate rate with a smaller confidence indicator of +5.9 per cent compared with +18.8 per cent recorded in the last quarter.
Gross revenue was also expected to increase with a net balance of +11.8 per cent, said the Statistics Department in its “2019 First Quarter Business Tendency Statistics” released today.
“A total of 30.4 per cent of the respondents anticipate their gross revenue to increase while 51.0 per cent (felt it will remain) unchanged and 18.6 per cent foresee a decrease in gross revenue,” it said.
In terms employee numbers, the hiring trend remained positive in the first quarter of 2019 with a net balance recording +3.5 per cent, said the department.
A total of 8.5 per cent of the establishments intend to increase their workforce while 5.0 per cent of the establishments expect to reduce the number of employees in the first quarter of 2019, 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 per cent compared with +12.3 per cent recorded in the previous survey results period.
The department said respondents in the industry and services sectors anticipated positive business conditions for the period under review but lower at +0.5 per cent and +7.5 per cent, respectively.
“The construction and wholesale & retail trade sectors expect the business situation to deteriorate with a net balance of -24.5 per cent and -6.4 per cent, respectively,” it added. — Bernama