Published: Tuesday July 17, 2012 MYT 1:52:00 PM
Malaysian consumer confidence at 6-year high
KUALA LUMPUR: Consumer confidence in Malaysia rose to a six-year high while more than two-thirds of Malaysians were optimistic about their job prospects and personal finances, according to Nielsen.
It said on Tuesday consumer confidence was up four points to 111 in the second quarter of 2012, based on the Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Survey.
"Optimism towards local job prospects and personal finances continue to boost confidence," according to the findings of the survey.
The index last hit its 111 level in the first quarter of 2006. Malaysia advanced to fifth place from seventh among the 56 countries surveyed in terms of confidence level, after Indonesia (120), India (119), the Philippines (116) and Saudi Arabia (115).
The survey, established in 2005, tracked consumer confidence, major concerns and spending intentions among more than 28,000 Internet consumers in 56 countries. Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism.
Although the overall confidence level towards job prospects was unchanged at 70% from a quarter ago, the percentage of online respondents in Malaysia who rated their job prospects as excellent over the next 12 months showed an increase of 2% to 15% on-quarter.
"Their confidence has helped position Malaysians as the third most optimistic job prospects online consumer group among the 56 countries surveyed. Three months ago, Malaysia ranked seventh," according to the survey.
However, the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) movement tracked by Nielsen actually indicated a slowdown year-on-year in the last three months.
Nielsen said value growth year-on-year was 1.9% in April and 0% in May. Although May sales built up to reach a 2.8% growth month-on-month with 67 categories reporting growth, sales were stagnant in May compared with a year ago.
"The trends actually indicate that optimism does not necessarily translate into spending, as Malaysians are among the highest savers in world," said the report.