Weak sales projections for first-half of the year

In tandem with the expected decline in sales, it said both production volume and capacity utilisation are also expected to fall.

PETALING JAYA: A survey conducted by the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) and the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) is projecting gloomy domestic sales during the first-half of the year (1H20).

According to the FMM-MIER Business Conditions Survey, manufacturers’ outlook for business in 1H20 is generally lacklustre, as uncertainties continued to weigh amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

In tandem with the expected decline in sales, it said both production volume and capacity utilisation are also expected to fall.

About 33% of respondents indicated that they are likely to produce smaller volumes and 30% considering lowering their capacities.

“Production cost is likely to be higher in 1H20, with 51% of respondents projecting an increase in their cost, up from 43% previously, ” FMM said in a statement.

However, it said, capital investment remained positive, with 24% of respondents looking to increase their capital investments in the months ahead.

Recruitment, on the other hand, is likely to remain relatively flat in 1H20.

Only 17% of respondents plan on increasing headcount soon.

It said about 43% of the respondents are also reducing foreign workers (FWs) and looking at automation to tackle issues in sourcing FWs such as higher remuneration demand, a zero-cost policy which raises recruitment cost, freeze/gender restriction by source countries and a lack of interest among FWs to work in Malaysia.

Findings of the survey showed that 34% of the respondents are automated at the 31%-50% level.

Meanwhile, a quick survey to ascertain the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on manufacturers and trade showed that the impact on production due to reduced supply of raw materials from China, including moulded and metal press parts and ingredients for food and beverage products, were the main concern of manufacturers.

“Exports most affected include machinery and equipment, automotive components, electrical and electronic products, toiletries, steel products and processed food products, ” It said.

The 16th edition of the bi-annual collaboration between FMM and MIER drew 490 respondents nationwide. — Bernama

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