Statistically speaking, positive numbers and news

It’s unusual that there are slightly more good news than bad news about Malaysia currently. Somehow, even though I am quite positive but majority of the news I read are usually negative. From the currency depreciation to the slowdown in economy and the downtrend in property transactions and last but not least all those dying or half-dead malls. Familiar news right? Okay, statistically speaking, the ringgit has been one of the best performers currently and is said to be at 6 months high or today a top banker said in an article in TheStar that the ringgit should rally to 8 month high soon. Here’s the full article in TheStar: Malaysian ringgit to rally to eight month high, top banker said.   I think the banks are also pretty happy because most of them have released a positive set of numbers, all are up. Here’s an earlier article: When banks show better results, it’s a good sign

What about the GDP growth for Malaysia? 18 months ago, World Bank said that Malaysia’s GDP would slow down in 2016 because the government will try to keep the fiscal deficit goal. At the same time, 2017 growth would moderate too. Here’s that article in themalaymail: Malaysia GDP growth set toslow in 2016  By the end of 2016 which was 6 months ago, World Bank said it expects the Malaysian economy to stay resilient even if there are concerns. Here’s that article in FreeMalaysiaToday.  When we read all these predictions by World Bank researchers / economists, the theme has been one of growth. Not at all negative since 18 months back. Recently, World Bank seems to think positively of us. It has revised upwards on its projections for the GDP growth for Malaysia for 2017 and 2018. It now expects the GDP growth to be 4.9 percent for 2017. It expects both 2018 and 2019 to return more positive numbers but we can revisit these later. For now, read what it says about Malaysia for 2017. NST article here. World Bank revises Malaysia GDP forecast, up 4.9 percent. 

Malaysia has also been ranked as the third best in terms of retail development. The survey did not come from any XXX company. It came from A T Kearney. Here’s what it says in full. Article in theedgemarkets.com In brief, the superb ranking is because of an influx of tourists, higher disposable income and government investments in infrastructure, all of which have provided a boost to the retail industry. Due to the increase in number of tourists, the retail sales growth for 2017 should beat that of 2016. This is according to the Malaysian Retail Chain Association (MRCA) president Datuk Gerry Chua. Full article in themalaymailonline here. Our neighbour’s most prominent newspaper also reported that those foreign funds which ‘ran away’ when Bank Negara Malaysia tried to stem speculative activities with the ringgit many months BACK are now BACK. (Pun intended…) Full article in StraitsTimes here: Foreign investors who fled ringgit crackdown returning. The use of the word ‘crackdown’ is unfortunate but as long as it’s positive, oklah, will accept.

No one has any idea how all these positive developments can continue. Let’s just hope it’s the start of another phase of growth. Another good sign? Job titles. Based on the all those new job titles that companies are hiring today, I do think we have ever more highly paid jobs. Some examples in the image from jobstreet.com.my. These are jobs paying over RM20,000 or higher. Now you know why people can still afford to buy new cars and new properties? By the way, employment numbers would always be another key indicator as to whether the economy is moving up or moving down. More higher paying jobs mean more disposable income or it could be the other way round. Do note though that there are people losing their jobs and there’s a potential for another mega merger between RHB and AMBANK which may mean some rationalisation of workforce is coming in the future. Keep investing. Stop speculating or gambling yeah.

written on 9 June 2017

Next suggested article: First half 2017 volatile. Second half good time to buy? 

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