Only 28th most confident consumers out of 63 countries….

Malaysians are feeling under the weather in recent months. Perhaps too many negative news or never ending bad news? Yes, this is the case for property buyers too. Need more decision time. Banks more stringent. Ever more discounts and rebates are all the usual happenings in the property market. Well, Malaysia was ranked 28th MOST CONFIDENT globally by Nielsen which conducted a poll on consumer confidence in 63 countries. Looking at it objectively however, it’s improving. It climbed 8 spots from previous quarter and even the points shot up from 78-80 to 87 in Q2 2016. This is already very near to the 89 point which was scored a year ago. Let’s not talk about the few years from 2010 – 2013 where it was above 100 points.

Nielsen Malaysia country manager Richard Hall said, “Malaysia has weathered the currency devaluation and moved past the first year of the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) without the economy going into any significant downturn.Thus the nation’s consumer confidence outlook is returning, with most Malaysians believing that the economy was more resilient than a year ago.” Seriously, I am not sure how many colleagues of mine would agree with his assessment. Personally, I agree with him and has been singing a similar tune for some time but it’s really a negative world out there. Except for the few property investor friends of mine who were still buying as at one week ago. Haha.

In South-East Asia, there are many nations with far higher scores than Malaysia. I love this too because this meant that the economies of these countries are also holding up well. 4 countries with higher than 100 points include Philippines at 132 points, Indonesia at 119 points, Vietnam at 107 points and Thailand at 101 points. In fact the first three was along the world’s top 10 most confident countries! As usual, where’s Singapore? It’s right in front of Malaysia, at 88 points and taking 25th place overall. The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions — conducted online — measures consumer confidence, perceptions of local job prospects, major concerns and spending intentions among more than 30,000 respondents with Internet access in 63 countries. Consumer confidence levels above and below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and pessimism.

So, are we ready to be even more positive in the next survey? Well, I hope Nielsen sends me the survey too. In terms of using our own observations, just look at the food and beverage outlets in the usual bigger malls. Most of the time, they are full and this includes those with expensive menus as well. In other words, people still feel secure with their jobs or is this is a false alarm since many are overspending what they have? Well, you decide yeah. Happy believing.

written on 2 Aug 2016

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