KUALA LUMPUR (May 19): Malaysians are increasingly worried about inflation as unease about Covid-19 recedes, but financial and political corruption remains the biggest concern, a survey by market research firm Ipsos Malaysia found.
Its monthly poll in May 2022 found that 27% of Malaysians are worried about inflation, up 3% month-on-month, compared with its low of 7% in August 2021. Meanwhile, just 31% are now concerned about Covid-19, from its peak of 83% also in August last year.
The sentiment followed a global trend, Ipsos data showed, where inflation is now the number one issue concerning 34% of the public, while Covid-19 is the least worry at 16%.
Malaysia opened its borders in April to mark a new phase in its journey through the Covid-19 pandemic. On May 10, the Monetary Policy Committee raised the overnight policy rate by 25 basis points to 2%, citing a firmer economic recovery and improved domestic demand and exports growth.
Ipsos Malaysia public affairs associate director Lars Erik Lie said in a statement that the switch in concerns among Malaysians is in line with the country's transition to the endemic phase, with the "new normal" giving way to the "old normal" during the pandemic days.
"With the recovery in consumer demand, combined with increased pressure on supply chains brought on by global events such as the war in Ukraine, concern about inflation is now on the rise," he said.
While inflation worry is rising, spending comfort has also improved to its highest in the last one year across both household purchases (44%) and major purchases (40%).
This metric was the highest in June 2018, Ipsos Malaysia said.
On the other socio-economic matter, one in two Malaysians (53%) are worried about financial and political corruption, up from 48% in April, keeping it as the biggest worry among Malaysians.
Ipsos conducts its survey monthly in 28 countries worldwide, with Malaysia monthly sample at 500.