The MEO is MIER's forecasted expectations for how well the Malaysian economy will perform during an upcoming quarter with forecasted expectations for inflation, productivity growth, unemployment and balance of trade.
The Business Conditions Survey was first mounted in the second quarter of 1987 to provide input for the Institute's economic forecasting activity. It is conducted on a quarterly basis to assist in assessing the short-term outlook for the economy. The survey findings are used to supplement the availability of quantitative information from conventional sources. A Business Conditions Index is constructed from the survey results which gives advance information that permits inferences to be drawn regarding emerging economic trends.
The survey covers a sample of over 350 manufacturing businesses incorporated locally and foreign manufacturing concerns operating in Malaysia, covering 11 industries. Questions posed in the survey questionnaire are on key determinants such as production level, new order bookings, sales performances, inventory build-up and new job openings. Reports of the survey findings are published two weeks after the end of each quarter.
The Survey of Consumer Sentiments, initiated in January 1987, is a series of surveys conducted quarterly on a sample of over 1200 households in Peninsular Malaysia to gauge consumer spending trends and sentiments. Consumer behaviour reflects income level and general economic conditions. Together with the business conditions survey, findings of this survey relating to consumer spending are incorporated into MIER's short-term economic outlook report.
Repondents are asked about perceptions on their household's current and expected financial positions and their employment outlook. The survey also seeks to uncover general economic conditions such as inflation as seen from the consumers' perspective. Questions relating to their plans to buy houses, new or used cars and other major consumer durable are also asked. A quarterly Index of Consumer Sentiments is generated from the survey.