KUALA LUMPUR: Business sentiment among Malaysian companies has improved further for the third consecutive quarter in the fourth quarter of 2017 (Q4’17), reaching its new peak in six consecutive quarters.
According to Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) Malaysia’s Business Optimism Index (BOI) study, overall BOI climbed from +3.40 percentage points in Q3’17 to +5.52 percentage points in Q4’17. On a year-on-year (y-o-y) basis, BOI rose from +3.83 percentage points in Q4’16 to +5.52 percentage points in Q4’17.
According to D&B Malaysia, five of six indicators – volume of sales, net profits, selling price, inventory level and employment level – have climbed upwards on a quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) basis, except for new orders.
Dun & Bradstreet (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd CEO Audrey Chia said it expects the outlook for Malaysian businesses to sign off on a relatively good note for 2017. This is largely attributed to positive growth within the construction sector as well as an increase in electronics, food and beverage manufacturing activities over the recent months.
On the domestic front, the government has a development plan in place that focuses on boosting the country’s labour productivity, skills upgrading of employees and infrastructure, which bodes well for businesses here and making Malaysia competitive in high value-added sectors.
“As an open economy, however, Malaysia is highly vulnerable to any increase in protectionism, which is a non-negligible possibility in the current anti-globalisation environment. With the acceleration in inflation rates, a slowdown in consumer spending and dampening of household sentiments will also be expected. Hence, we remain cautiously optimistic in our outlook for the rest of the year,” said Chia.
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