Department of Statistics Malaysia’s latest Business Tendency Statistics indicates that business confidence has turned optimistic going into the first quarter of 2022 with a confidence indicator of +7.6 percent from -0.3 percent in the preceding quarter.
Among all of the surveyed sectors, the Services, Industry, and Wholesale & Retail Trade sectors expect better business performance in the first quarter of 2022. The business confidence for the Services sector rebounds to a positive trajectory with +11.1 percent in the reference quarter from -1.3 percent recorded in the past quarter. The industry sector depicts a better business condition with +12.2 percent compared to +3.6 percent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2021. Similarly, the Wholesale & Retail Trade sector anticipates brighter business outlook with +4.0 percent in the reference quarter as against +3.3 percent in the last quarter.
On a contrary, the Construction sector continues to be pessimistic about its business performance with a confidence indicator of -40.4 percent in the first quarter of 202 With regards to gross revenue, 33.5 percent of respondents anticipate an increment in their gross revenue for the first quarter of 2022 whilst 27.7 percent expect a decrease in gross revenue which further led to a net balance of +5.8 percent. Concurrently, 38.8 percent of respondents expect their gross revenue to stagnate as compared to the fourth quarter of 2021.
In view of employment trends, 70.8 percent of the establishments plan to retain their manpower in the reference quarter. About 18.2 percent of establishments intend to recruit more manpower, while 11.0 percent predict to reduce their manpower which induced to a net balance of +7.2 percent.
EXPECTATIONS OF BUSINESS PERFORMANCE IN JANUARY TO JUNE 2022
Business prospect for the first half of 2022 continues to improve with a net balance of +18.9 percent as against +24.1 percent posted for the term of October 2021 until March 2022. This positive outlook was mainly supported by the Wholesale & Retail Trade, Services and Industry sectors which are optimistic towards their business performance. The Wholesale & Retail Trade foresees favourable business outlook for the first half of 2022 with a net balance of +27.0 percent as against +35.1 percent recorded previously. Simultaneously, the Services sector expects better business conditions with a net balance of +25.1 percent from +24.3 percent. The industry sector also predicts positive business performance with a net balance of +17.7 percent for January until June 2022 as against +24.5 percent recorded previously.
Conversely, the Construction sector anticipates less favourable business conditions for the next six months with a net balance of -30.8 per cent as compared to -18.4 percent recorded previously.