Gloomy outlook for Chinese New Year sales
THE drop in the ringgit against the US dollar looks set to cast a pall on the sale of goods for the upcoming Chinese New Year (CNY), where “brisk sales” had been the traditional catchphrase.
Sundry goods merchants expect prices of festive items to go up by 20-30%.
Some quipped that they would consider it “a profit if we don’t lose money selling Chinese New Year goods”.
According to a report in Nanyang Siang Pau yesterday, an economic slowdown, on top of persistent inflation and the weakened ringgit, have seen the consumer market going through a lean period, and sundry goods merchants are hoping to get a much-needed boost from the sales of CNY goods.
But the latest slide in the ringgit in the wake of Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential polls is putting paid to their plans.
This is because the strength of the green back has a direct impact on the prices of imported goods, including CNY items, which are imported mainly from China and Hong Kong.
If the prices of imported festive items go up at source, so will the retail prices here, a situation that is bad for business, especially when consumers are tightening their belts.
Merchants as well as food and beverage businesses polled by the daily are not optimistic about the sales outlook for the coming CNY.
The fact that the festival falls at the end of January, barely three weeks after schools reopen, does not help matters.
Parents with school-going children will have less money at their disposal after spending considerably on school uniforms, shoes, bags, stationery and other related necessities.