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A healthier economic outlook is anticipated in the coming months
Business prospects slower for the first quarter 2021

Business Tendency Statistics Second Quarter 2021

Release Date : Monday 31, May 2021 1200




Businesses are more confident in the second quarter of 2021, with a better overall confidence indicator of -3.1 per cent as against -11.3 per cent recorded in the last quarter.

All sectors foresee brighter business situation for the second quarter 2021 if the economic wellbeing is under control. Among them, the Wholesale & Retail Trade sector soared to a positive territory for the first time since third quarter of 2019 with +5.6 per cent in the second quarter of 2021 as compared to -11.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2021. The confidence indicator for Industry and Services sectors posted better negative with -1.5 per cent and -6.1 per cent respectively compared to -4.4 per cent and -15.0 per cent in the preceding quarter.

At the same time, the Construction sector remains as the most pessimistic sector during the reference quarter with better perspective of -30.5 per cent as against -51.2 per cent in the previous quarter.


Exhibit I: Quarterly Confidence Indicator by Sector, Malaysia, 2019-2021



Expectations of Gross Revenue and Number of Employees                 

A total of 35.2 per cent of respondents anticipate their gross revenue to grow in the second quarter of 2021, while 23.1 per cent of the respondents foresee a decrease which led to a net balance of +12.1 per cent. Concurrently, 41.7 per cent of respondents expect their gross revenue to stagnate.

With regard to number of employees, majority of the establishments (72.0 per cent) predict to maintain their employees at the current state for the second quarter of 2021. Only 14.3 per cent of establishments expect to upsize their workforce, whilst 13.7 per cent foresee to downsize their manpower which further leads to a net balance of +0.6 per cent for the reference quarter.


Exhibit II: Expected of Net Balance Gross Revenue and Number of Employees, 2019-2021



In overall, business perception for April till September 2021 surged to positive trajectory with a net balance of +11.0 per cent as against -4.6 per cent recorded previously. All sectors registered turnaround in their net balance where Industry and Wholesale & Retail Trade become the most optimistic sectors with net balance of +12.5 per cent recorded each in the forthcoming six months. Wholesale & Retail Trade sector expects significant improvement, climb to positive territory with a net balance of +12.5 per cent as compared to -7.7 per cent recorded for the first half of 2021. This is mainly driven by the uplifted outlook in both subsectors namely Wholesale Trade and Retail Trade. Concomitantly, Services sector shows the same direction with a net balance of +8.4 per cent compared to -11.7 per cent for the period of January till June 2021. The increase of Services sector’s net balance is partly supported by Accommodation, Transportation and Storage, Communications, Education and Other Services subsectors.

The Construction sector also foresees positive sentiment in the six months ahead with a net balance of +6.1 per cent  as against -34.6 per cent recorded previously.

Exhibit III: Net Balance of Business Performance Expectation for Upcoming Six Month by Sector, Malaysia, 2018-2021



The full publication of the Business Tendency Statistics Second Quarter 2021 can be downloaded through   eStatistik portal.


Released By:

 DrUzir_Mahidin    Dr_Uzir

31 May 2021



Contact person:

Mohd Yusrizal Ab Razak 
Public Relation Officer
Strategic Communication and International Division
Department of Statistics, Malaysia
Tel : +603-8885 7942
Fax : +603-8888 9248
Email : yusrizal.razak[at]dosm.gov.my