Data released by Maybank Investment Bank found that consumer spending is “holding up” in the second quarter of 2017, as compared to the year prior.
“The fastest retail trade growth coincided with the increase in income as indicated by the manufacturing sector’s average salaries and wages which gained 7.7 per cent year-on-year (from 5.5 per cent in March),” cited Maybank.
According to the Statistic Department, wholesale and retail trade stood at RM92.8 billion (USD21.7 billion) as of April 2017. Inflation has also dropped since the month prior from 5.1 per cent to 4.4 per cent.
Analysts at Maybank predicts that consumer spending for the remainder of 2017 will be steady, promoted by increased tourist spending. Maybank Investment thinks that tourist arrivals will rise during the second half of the year since Malaysia is playing host to the SEA Games and Para-ASEAN Games.
The forecast comes ahead of the implementation of the new Tourism Tax, set to be in effect 1 July 2017.