Thursday, February 16, 2012

Switching to a More Careful Spending

Is it true that we are becoming more thrifty? Are we cutting back on telephone expenses, opting for cheaper grocery, spending less on new clothes, and cutting down on out-of-home entertainment? [read the appended  news articles]. 

According to Nielsen survey, yes, in terms of number of people, more Malaysians are doing just that. But in terms of amount, we are not sure. Many of us who are not-so-well-to-do may be cutting back on spending but the affluent folks would continue spending at pleasure.

Perhaps, we have come to term with the large number of bankruptcy cases in the country - almost 1% of the total population as of end-2011. Or, perhaps we really do not have the cash to spend.

But isn't our country prospering based on some indicators like the ability of the government to distribute many goodies lately? Straight thinking says it is. It should not be a window dressing activity if you take into account that Malaysia is doing really well.

According to International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, in terms of international trade, Malaysia is in top five countries after Singapore and Hong Kong, surpassing the United States of America, Switzerland, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. 

I'm a bit skeptical, has our total international trade gone so high or trade volume of other countries shrunk significantly? I have no access to the such report quoted by the Minister but if it really is what's been published, we should give a little pat on our backs. Well done! Of course there are other perspectives that one needs to look at as yard sticks to prosperity. But that would be for other discussions.

Total trade is growing and the economy shall flourish. When the economy is booming the people should do well in business, and the salaried employees should get better perks, right? There should then be greater spending propensity, unless people are all tied up with mis-calculated past commitments.

Back to the topic, spending is good for the economy as a whole (especially if these spenders are foreigners) but is bad for your pocket when done ravenously. Spend within your means.

So there, go spend to your heart content.


Malaysians More Careful With Their Spending
Business Times - Feb 9, 2012

Malaysians have started to cut down on telephone expenses as a means to manage their budget as concerns over the economy, job security and increasing food prices linger. At the same time, consumers are switching to cheaper grocery brands, the latest Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions reveals.

While spending less on new clothes and out-of-home entertainment remained the top two strategies to manage discretionary spending, switching to cheaper grocery brands and curbing telephone spending ranked third and fourth.

In the fourth quarter of 2011, the percentage of those surveyed who said that they are opting for cheaper brands increased to 53 per cent from 48 per cent in the third quarter of 2011. Those who cut telephone expenses increased to 48 per cent from 44 per cent in the previous quarter.

Meanwhile, online consumer confidence revealed that Malaysia remained the tenth most confident country among 56 countries surveyed. Malaysia was ahead of Thailand and just behind United Arab Emirates.

235,908 Individuals Declared Bankrupt as of October 2011
The Department of Insolvency Malaysia statistics show that there are 41 individuals declared bankrupt every day! At this rate, by the end of this year there would be more than 238,000 bankrupts and if there's no immediate bold action this could well reach half a million by 2020 when we anticipate the country to have attained developed nation status.

The main causes for declaring the 235,908 individuals bankrupt are:
1. Hire purchase, 26%
2. Personal loan, 21%
3. Housing loan, 14%
4. Others - business loan, corporate guarantee, etc.

But...Malaysia Records Highest Total Trade in 2011. Yes?
New Straits Times - Feb 9, 2012

Malaysia recorded its highest total trade of RM1.3 trillion last year, up 8.7 per cent from 2010, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed. He projected a growth of between five and six per cent for Malaysia's total trade this year.

The World Competitiveness Yearbook 2011 Report by the Institute for Management Development ranked Malaysia among the top five countries in terms of international trade after Singapore and Hong Kong, surpassing the United States of America, Switzerland, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Mustapa said exports expanded 8.7 per cent to RM694.55 billion last year while imports grew 8.6 per cent to RM574.23 billion. Trade surplus rose 9.4 per cent to RM120 billion.

"This was the 14th consecutive year of trade surplus recorded by the country since 1998," Mustapa said.

He said rising demand for production inputs and consumer goods from Asian markets boosted this sector's contribution by 71.3 per cent to Malaysia's total exports. Exports to Asia increased 11.2 per cent to RM495.19 billion in 2011.


tehr said...

Amalan menabung dapat mengurangkan amalan berhutang
Untuk kehidupan yg lebih tenteram

de engineur said...

@tehr. Betul tu tuan!