Malaysian consumers cautious to spend on luxury goods and leisure outings in 2020

Malaysian consumers are expected to defer spending on discretionary products such as luxury goods, overseas holidays and leisure outings in 2020, while maintaining spend on necessities such as food, household products and children expenses. This comes as the latest Consumer Sentiment Index from Malaysia Institute of Economy Research saw the lowest index of 84 since the fourth quarter of 2017.

On a whole, 57% of consumers expressed some reservation towards their personal finances (either no improvement or manageable). Given the cautious spending outlook in 2020, PHD said it becomes even more important for marketers to drive the full funnel experience. In this approach, it is critical to drive top-of-mind awareness and position the brand distinctively in the mind of the consumers.

As consumers seek more value for money, they will be drawn to promotions and deals, especially across eCommerce and e-wallet platforms.

Marketers need to have solutions across these platforms to drive high value. While doing so, marketers can leverage on the platforms’ digital advantage and optimise data technology to bridge the consumer journey from awareness to conversion.

Nonetheless, PHD said 2020 is looking better than what consumers experienced in 2019. Cost of living, Malaysia’s financial position, affordable housing and job security are the four most critical areas affecting consumers’ sentiments. Majority of (51%) of Malaysian consumers are also hopeful that 2020 will be better than 2019.

According to the Ministry of Finance, Malaysia’s economy is estimated to grow at 4.8% in 2020, marginally lifted from 4.7% in 2019. Meanwhile, unemployment rate will remain at 3.3% and inflation is estimated to be 2%.