KUALA LUMPUR, July 19 — Business optimism in Malaysia leapt 24 percentage points (pp) to 52 per cent in the second quarter (Q2) of this year, from 28 per cent in the first quarter (Q1), mainly due to the election of the Pakatan Harapan government.
In a statement, Grant Thornton Malaysia, Country Managing Partner, Datuk NK Jasani said the International Business Report (IBR) revealed that the new-found business confidence was due to the government’s emphasis on accountability and transparency.
“The government should now emphasise on business transparency and have a business friendly budget to continue this positive momentum,” he added.
The IBR revealed that business owners are confident about their performance over the next year, with many having positive outlooks for revenue, employment and also investments.
It said 56 per cent of businesses are expecting an increase in revenue over the next 12 months, an increase of 22 pp from Q1, while 26 per cent of businesses owners are expecting to hire more employees, an increase of 12 pp from Q1.
On investments, the IBR highlighted that 66 per cent (up 16 pp from Q1) of businesses are expecting to increase their investment in technology.
However, there are growing concern among business owners on the lack of skilled workers, energy costs and exchange rate fluctuations.
“Access to skilled workers is seen as the biggest constraint to growth by Malaysian businesses at 46 per cent (up 14 pp from Q1).
“Concerns have increased over exchange rate fluctuations, driven by the prospect of further US Federal Reserve rate rises this year. The proportion of Malaysian business leaders citing exchange rate fluctuations as a constraint on their ability to grow sits at 48 per cent, an increase from 30 per cent in Q1,” the report said. — Bernama
Source: The Malay Mail Online