Press Release 2016

UOB: Consumers will fork out more on food this Lunar New Year

Family ties still come first as Malaysian consumers allocate more than 40 per cent of their festive budget to their family reunion dinner

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 5 February 2016 - A recent survey by United Overseas Bank (Malaysia) Berhad (UOB Malaysia) revealed that Malaysian consumers expect to spend an average of RM891 on food this Lunar New Year, nearly 30 per cent more than they did in 2015.

The UOB Lunar New Year survey also showed consumers are prepared to spend an average of RM4,142, on necessities like food, red packets, shopping and travel this year. This is 2.6 per cent less than the average budget a year ago.

Despite the slight drop in the overall festive budget, family reunion dinner will be given top priority with consumers allocating RM392 (or 44 per cent) of their total food budget of RM891 to this meal that is always savoured with the closest family members on the eve of Lunar New Year. Other than food, respondents plan to spend RM922 on red packets, RM912 on New Year shopping and RM1,417 on travel.

Ms Julia Goh, Economist at UOB Malaysia said that Malaysian consumers still value family ties and are prepared to spend on them this Lunar New Year. "The findings show that family comes first for Malaysians. Although food costs have been rising since the second half of 2015, this has not stopped Malaysians from celebrating the festive period with a generous reunion dinner with their loved ones."

Many will save this Chinese New Year
Given a more cautious economic outlook for 2016, Malaysians will be saving most of their red packets. The survey revealed that among those receiving red packets, either for themselves or for their children, more than 70 per cent of respondents expect to put the money into a savings account or invest it.

"Even in the midst of Lunar New Year celebrations, it is heartening to see that Malaysians are prudent. They realise that putting aside funds is important to face life's uncertainties," said Ms Goh.

The UOB Lunar New Year survey was conducted in December 2015 among 500 consumers in Malaysia. The survey looks at Malaysian's spending patterns and what they will be doing during the festive celebration.


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