During the tail-end of 2021, Malaysian consumers have already voiced their concerns over increasing prices for items such as fresh vegetables, bread loaves and even restaurant menu items, after business owners and proprietors have announced price hikes to help combat rising operating costs. And it would only appear that this trend is set to carry well into 2022 as well.
10% price increase for dried goods & clothing expected this year
Quoting hypermarket chain and local retail giant MYDIN’s Managing Director Datuk Ameer Ali Mydin, Malay-language daily Sinar Harian reports that the prices of dried goods such as biscuits, sardines, and the chocolate malt drink Milo, may increase in price by anywhere between 8% to 10% this year.
“We were told by many manufacturers that products will increase due to certain reasons (such as) the prices of raw material and logistics costs having increased,” he said.
This is in addition to a 10% to 15% increase in price with clothing, a change that only came about this year as retailers sell off the remainder of their inventory in 2021 before taking in new batches of stock from manufacturers or suppliers this year. Datuk Mydin points out that the prices of school bags and school shoes have already seen an increase in price.
However, he does not expect the prices of produce to increase beyond the prices that they are currently being sold at now. He adds that Malaysians should not chalk the blame up to the local government for failing to keep prices under control.
“Malaysia is involved in international trade. We shouldn’t blame the government. This has nothing to do with the government. What is important is that the government helps.” he said.
To combat these price hikes, he has advised consumers to consider alternatives to the usual name-brand products that may be more expensive, such as buying generic versions of the same items that are priced cheaper. He points out that prudent spending is crucial in times like these, given the fact that basic salaries have remained the same despite how the prices of goods continue to rise.
Families urged to cut non-essential spending
Consequently, consumer finance expert Prof Mohamad Fazli Sabri has also expected household spending among Malaysians to increase by as much as 30 percent due to the price increase in goods sold locally. Drawing up an example, he said that families that have previously been spending RM2,000 a month may have to increase their household budget expenditure by an additional 30%, or RM600, to take into account the increased cost of goods.
Additionally, he suggests that families consider cutting down on non-essential spending and make certain lifestyle changes given the price hikes, and consider looking into participating in the gig economy or digital economy to bring in additional sources of income.
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