KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 13 — AmBank Research expects spending in the coming festive seasons and from tourism-related activities will counter the current weakening of consumer sentiment in the near term.
“For 2020, we expect the wholesale and retail trade segments to remain supportive in view of sustained domestic demand,” its chief economist, Dr Anthony Dass said in a note today.
He said the segments would receive an impetus from the tourism sector following the Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign.
Malaysia is set to receive 30 million tourist arrivals next year, contributing about RM100 billion in tourist receipts.
According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia, spending activities in September recorded a softer growth amid a high-base due to the tax holiday period in 2018.
Distributive trade slowed down to 5.7 per cent year-on year (yoy) in the third quarter of 2019 from 6.1 per cent yoy in the second quarter of 2019.
Wholesale trade remaining flat at 5.8 per cent yoy, while retail sales softening to 7.1 per cent yoy compared to 7.5 per cent yoy in the second quarter of 2019.
Despite softer inflationary pressure in the economy amid the base effect, Dass said the ebbing momentum in spending activities is partly due to weaker consumer confidence, softening wage growth and a weaker ringgit which translated to higher cost for imported goods. — Bernama