Malaysia’s manufacturing industry remains cautiously optimistic about the first half of 2017 due to uncertainties in local consumption. The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) said the cautious outlook was despite a pick-up in business activity in the second half of 2016. According to findings from the FMM-Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) Business Conditions Survey, improvements were observed for current local and export sales, production volume and capacity utilisation, albeit with higher cost of production. However, for the first half of 2017, survey respondents expect local sales to wane during the period, as the local sales index fell 12 points to 87.
FMM president Tan Sri Lim Wee Chai said to make the manufacturing industry a more efficient one, there should be a mind-set of striving for cost efficiency and high quality products. “We seek the government’s support in the purchase of Malaysian goods. As an example, the government can probably set some conditions that require investors or project managers to use locally manufactured products, in the contracts given out,” he said.
The FMM-MIER business conditions survey for the second half of 2016 received a total of 370 responses.