The year 2018 has been exciting and disappointing at the same time. We witnessed a peaceful transition of power in Malaysia from Barisan Nasional to Pakatan Harapan led by Tun Dr Mahathir. We saw fresh faces in the cabinet, and a push against corruption at the highest levels.
However, the business community saw many government projects being axed or cut by substantial percentages resulting in losses and employees/contractors layoffs.
The business sentiment grew worse as the US-China trade war escalated. The latest PMI data and warnings (e.g., Apple Inc’s dismal iPhone sales in China and a resultant market cap plunge) confirms our worst fear that China is experiencing a slowdown in economic activity. It doesn’t help that the Fed has continued to raise/normalise interest rates resulting in an inverted yield curve, which is a good predictor of economic recession.
If an economic slowdown happens in Malaysia, this may jolt the new government to be more business friendly.
To all my friends and visitors: Happy New Year 2019.