This year, I spent more for Chinese New Year. I would think perhaps 10-15% more. Somehow my wife and I found more good deals. When you find good deals, you have to buy them right? We also had to buy for my son who was less than 1 year old last year. (Lots of people gave clothes as gifts previously). New shoes for my wife and two kids. (Yes, I am wearing my old shoes as new shoes, haha) This is also the year that we kept the shopping till the final two weeks. Is this a better strategy? Well, to be frank not really. There were just too many people and long queues at cashier counters. This year, my mother told me that the prices of prawns went up. She did not buy as many. I told her that it’s ok. It’s a high cholesterol food anyway. (Think positive!) We had lots of fish. All are bigger sized than last year too. So yes, even my mother is spending more for Chinese New Year this year. What about you, my dear fellow Malaysians?
According to an annual survey by United Overseas Bank (Malaysia) reported in TheStar, Malaysians are willing to fork out an additional 9 percent more for this Chinese New Year. This is in comparison to last year when Malaysians used to spend RM3,846 and this year, their average budget is RM4,201 (9 percent higher). Out of this, RM1,008 would be spent on food alone. According to UOB Malaysia economist Julia Goh, the reason for the increase is because consumers are not not compromising on CNY traditions despite higher cost of living pressures. She shared that feasting on food and travelling to visit friends and family are central to the way Malaysians bond with one another. Thus, these would continue to be a priority even in a tough economic environment. As for angpows that we receive, 73 percent of the respondents said they will save it while 25 percent said they will invest it. The survey was conducted by Ipsos and it involved interviewing 500 people in Malaysia aged between 18 and 55 on the behaviours and attitudes for the 2017 CNY. The survey was conducted from November to December 2016.
I think the 73 percent of respondents saying that they will save the angpow money can be seen as a good sign or a bad sign. Good sign is because they do not need to use the angpow money even though everyone is saying that the cost of living is up, the economy is not doing well etc. Main reason is because the unemployment rate remain low, slightly over 3 percent. Not a good sign because 73 percent is a huge number. Perhaps they are also not spending it because they are afraid of a bleaker future where the economy is concerned. Personally for me, I will also be saving all the angpow money as they are mostly for my kids. In terms of investment, I remain committed to save more ‘bullets’ while waiting for opportunities. I think the economy is still moving along just fine and for the past few years, China has become a major investor. However, I would like to see Mr. Trump intends to carry out in the near future. Happy buying.
written on 28 Jan 2017
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