Malaysia’s consumer confidence on rebound
Malaysia – Consumer confidence amongst Malaysians has bounced back with a five-point increase to 110 in Q2, the highest level since Q3 of 2006, Nielsen’s latest online Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) indicated.
75 Categories, excluding cigarettes, beer & shandy: Nielsen Malaysia Retail Index
Although the Asia Pacific region observed a nine point dip, the spike places the Malaysia at number four, along with United Arab Emirates, among the countries surveyed. Malaysia's current position follows the top-three markets namely India (126), the Philippines (115), and Indonesia (112). During the previous quarter, Malaysia measured in at twelfth place.
Coming in second compared with fourth place in Q1, 77% of respondents described their job prospects to be excellent or good across the next 12 months due to favorable labor market conditions.
Meanwhile, two-thirds (claiming sixth spot) of the consumers surveyed rated their state of personal finances as excellent or good compared with 60% in the first quarter.
"We also saw a robust 9.3% increase in consumer spending year-on-year on retail FMCG categories2 tracked by Nielsen in the second quarter," Kow Kuan Hua, Nielsen Malaysia MD, said.
However, economy and fuel price hikes remain major concerns, as subsidy rationalisation raises inflationary pressure. The former continues to be the biggest issue among 18% of online respondents (up 4% quarter-on-quarter). At regional level, rising food prices (19%) is the biggest concern.
"More consumers are expecting the impact of rising fuel prices to hit home harder. The percentage almost doubled from 9% to 16% between Q1 and Q2, surpassing consumers' concern about increasing food prices," Kow added.
The study has also reflected a steady growth in retail spend across several categories.
In the food and beverage category, the dry groceries and dairy segments saw a double-digit growth (up 10.4% and 15.9% respectively), while in the non-food category, health and wellness rose by 13.3% and personal care by 9.3%.
With the Consumer Price Index rising 3.3% in May year-on-year (the fastest pace of growth in two years), consumers will maintain cautiousness when spending their disposable incomes. Six out of 10 (62%) Malaysian respondents said they will place their spare cash into savings.
The survey was conducted between 20 May and 7 June 2011, polling more than 31,000 online consumers in 56 countries throughout Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and North America.
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- The Nielsen Company
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