Malaysian businesses are optimistic about the future

Malaysian businesses are optimistic about the future business situation with confidence indicator up slightly in the first quarter of 2023, an new official survey shows.

In its Business Tendency Statistics report for the first quarter of 2023, the Department of Statistics Malaysia said that the sentiment among Malaysian businesses remained positive at the beginning of 2023, as the confidence indicator in the first quarter showed a slight uptick to 3.6 percent as against 3.2 percent registered in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Among all of the sectors surveyed, services, wholesale and retail trade and industry sectors stayed optimistic about their future business condition.

The confidence indicator for services sector posted a better reading with +11.4 percent in the first quarter from +9.2 percent in the previous quarter.

Similarly, sentiment in wholesale and retail trade sector continued to be positive in the first quarter with +4 percent compared to +1.9 percent in the last quarter.

Industry sector also expects favorable business condition in the first quarter of 2023 as the confidence indicator posted a figure of +1.1 percent.

Meanwhile, businesses in the construction sector remained pessimistic with a confidence indicator of -18.5 percent recorded for the cited quarter as against -29.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Looking ahead, business perception for the first half of 2023 improved with a net balance of +12.1 percent as against +5.9 percent recorded for a previous period, with all sectors registered in the positive territory.

Sentiment in services sector remained positive with a net balance of +26.0 percent for January to June 2023, and with +16.7 percent in the wholesale and retail trade sector, both posting an increase.

Business outlook in construction and industry sectors also soared to positive territory for the six months ending June 2023. ■

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