Businesses less optimistic in first half


PETALING JAYA: Expectations of businesses turn less optimistic for the first half of 2019, with the overall net balance registering 0.6% against 12.3% recorded in the previous survey result, according to Statistics Department.

Based on the data in “Business Tendency Statistics” for the first quarter of 2019, respondents in industry and services sectors expect positive business conditions for the period of January to June 2019, but lower at 0.5% and 7.5%, respectively.

Meanwhile, construction and wholesale and retail trade sectors expect business situation to deteriorate with a net balance of -24.5% and -6.4%, respectively.

In addition, the department said according to the data, businesses confidence lessen in the first quarter of the year.

After showing an increase in the fourth quarter of 2018, the confidence indicator dropped to -2.2% in the first quarter of 2019.

“Industry, construction and wholesale and retail trade sectors expect their business situation to decline in the first quarter of 2019 with confidence indicators of -3.6%, -18.9% and -8.2%, respectively.

“Meanwhile, services sector expects their business situation to improve at a moderate rate with a smaller confidence indicator at 5.9% as compared to 18.8% recorded in the last quarter,” it added.

Overall, it said respondents expect gross revenue to increase in the first quarter of 2019 with a net balance of 11.8%, with a total of 30.4% of the respondents anticipate that their gross revenue to increase, while 51% expected unchanged.

In contrast, 18.6% of the respondents foresee a decrease in gross revenue.

In terms of number of employees, the hiring trend remain positive in the first quarter of 2019, where a net balance recorded 3.5%.

A total of 8.5% of the establishments intend to add their workforce, while 5% of the establishments expect to reduce number of employees in the first quarter of 2019, it added.



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