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Malaysia retail sales projected to accelerate this year

Malaysia retail sales are expected to rebound in the first quarter of 2024 and accelerate for the full year, with cost of living remaining the biggest challenge.

Retail Group Malaysia (RGM) has forecast an average 7.1 per cent year-on-year growth in retail sales for the first quarter following a 0.2 per cent drop in the previous quarter. The group expects improvements in all sub-sectors, partly due to festivities and school holidays.

For the full year, retail sales are expected to rise 4 per cent, extending a 2.2 per cent increase last year, when growth ended up below RGM’s November projection of 2.8 per cent.

The group said the rising cost of living will continue to challenge the country’s retail industry, but government cash handouts may help to boost spending.

RGM also cited the Israel-Hamas war which led to the boycotts of many Western brands with alleged or explicit support for Israel. This trend has affected businesses of certain retail brands but also resulted in Malaysians switching to support local and other Asian brands.


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