Slight uptick in Malaysian business sentiment


  • Economy
  • Monday, 28 Sep 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: Business sentiment among Malaysian companies experienced a slight uptick despite remaining in the contractionary zone for the fourth quarter of 2020 (Q420), according to Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) Malaysia’s Business Optimism Index (BOI) study.

In a statement today, D&B said BOI rose +0.50 percentage points to -12.83 percentage points in Q420 from -13.33 percentage points in Q320.

On a year-on-year basis, BOI fell -22.41 percentage points to -12.83 percentage points in Q420 from +9.58 percentage points in Q419.

D&B said the six business indicators under the quarterly BOI study include volume of sales, net profits, selling price, inventory level, employees and new orders.

Volume of sales inched up to -16.67 percentage points in Q420 from -19.20 percentage points in Q320.

Net profit increased to -20.63 percentage points in Q420 from -22.40 percentage points in Q320.

New orders jumped to -1.59 percentage points in Q420 from -12.00 percentage points in Q320.

It said both manufacturing and services sectors have seen slight improvements, while the construction and wholesale trade sectors are most pessimistic for Q420.

Dun & Bradstreet (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Audrey Chia said the improvement in consumer confidence and rebound in manufacturing activities over the last couple of months on signs of gradual recovery in certain sectors of the Malaysian economy.

However, she said it is still premature to predict if sentiments will continue to experience an uptrend as the global economy is still reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"With the emphasis on new sources of economic growth through the digitalisation, upskilling and reskilling programmes targeted at key sectors for Budget 2021, we expect these new measures to enhance the resilience of the Malaysian business community and be better prepared to tide through the uncertainties ahead,” she said. - Bernama
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