Household income growing at slower pace

PETALING JAYA: The pace at which household income grew slowed down last year compared with the 2012-2014 period based on data from the Statistics Department, according to Malaysian Rating Corp Bhd (MARC).

The rating agency said in a report that both the median and mean monthly household income growth had slowed from the pace of 11.7% and 10.3% recorded in the previous survey. Both measures were also lower than the increases recorded in the survey during the 2009-2012 period, it said.

“This slower pace can be possibly attributed to the challenging domestic and global economic environments post the global financial crisis, collapse in international crude oil prices, depreciation of the ringgit, as well as the weaker global trade performance during the period,” it said.

“It is also notable that the median income growth in rural areas fell 8.5 percentage points to 5.3% per annum in 2014-2016 from the high of 13.8% recorded in the 2012-2014 period.”

Alongside the latest release of Malaysia’s household expenditure survey, MARC estimated that the average monthly household excess income grew at a slower pace of 6.6% last year from a cyclical high of 7.7% in 2013.

Similarly, on an inflation-adjusted basis, the growth of the monthly household excess income moderated to 6.6% during the same period, down from an average of 7.1% in the three-year period through 2015.

“This has reinforced our view that consumers have been cautious in their spending habits amid a challenging economic environment, as well as the rising cost of living.

“Not surprisingly, private consumption growth has been subdued, averaging at 6.3% between 2014 and 2016, down from 7.5% in the preceding three-year period,” it said.

However, MARC noted that based on the latest Statistics Department data, Malaysia’s average and median household incomes benefitted from the relatively resilient domestic economy. It noted that the average monthly household income rose by 6.2% per year on a compounded annual growth rate basis between 2014 and 2016.

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