Online Consumer Confidence in Malaysia rebounded
6 points to an index of 107 in the first quarter of 2012 according
to the latest global online consumer confidence findings from
Malaysia ranked seventh (along with Thailand)
among the 56 countries surveyed in terms of confidence level.
Malaysia was at tenth position last quarter.
The Nielsen Global Online Consumer Confidence
Survey, established in 2005, tracks consumer confidence, major
concerns and spending intentions among more than 28,000 internet
consumers in 56 countries. Consumer confidence levels above and
below a baseline of 100 indicate degrees of optimism and
“Despite global economic uncertainties,
domestic-oriented and commodities based manufacturing (commodity
prices remain elevated) have cushioned some of the tough
challenges in export-oriented manufacturing,” said Joan Koh,
Managing Director of Nielsen Malaysia and Singapore. “On top of
that, the construction sector is banking on more projects from the
Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) for stronger growth ahead
while the services sector continues to be a crucial driver. All
these factors coupled with pre-election sentiment have contributed
to the rise in optimism in job prospects and personal finances
Malaysia maintains its position at seventh place
among 56 countries in the top ten most optimistic job prospects.
Overall, 70% of online respondents in Malaysia rate their job
prospects as excellent or good over the next 12 months, up by 6% from three months ago. Optimism towards
personal finances increased 2 percentage points to 63%.
One-third of the respondents stated that the
coming 12 months will be a good time to purchase items they want
and need, the percentage has also risen by 3% as
compared to the fourth quarter of 2011.
“The Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) market in
Malaysia grew by 3.5% in the first quarter compared to the
same period last year,” said Koh. “The first quarter is always
impacted by the seasonal festive push-and-pull factor i.e. Chinese
New Year. As predicted, February FMCG 2 sales declined due to post
CNY impact; however, a rebound of 5.2% month-on-month was
recorded during March 2012. In total, 66 categories reported
positive growth with nine categories achieving double-digit
growth. The trend suggests that the market is in a stable zone,
and the next quarter will be crucial in deciding how this year’s
growth build-up will play-out for the FMCG trade.”
Almost one-quarter (23%) of online consumers
still consider the state of the economy as their biggest concern
compared to the last quarter of 2011, while concern over job
security (16%) remained the second biggest concern. Debt
resurfaced at the third position (11%) surpassing worries about
increasing food prices.
Top strategies to manage discretionary spending:
save on utility bills and switch to cheaper grocery brands
Even though fewer online consumers are changing
their spending patterns to save on household expenses (83 % vs.
85% in Q4 2011), two out of five respondents claimed they will
still continue to reduce the cost of utilities to control
household budgets when economic conditions improve, followed by 28% who will still switch to cheaper grocery brands as a
strategy to increase their disposable income.
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