Consumers must use purchasing power to minimise impact of inflation

KUALA LUMPUR: Consumers must play their role and use their purchasing power to minimise the impact of inflation and ensure they are not directly affected by it.

The Economics Analysis and Strategic Data Division of the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) said in a statement today that consumers have the right to choose and make purchasing decisions based on the price, quantity, quality and alternative offers available.

According to the statement, inflation is an increase in the price of goods and services over a period of time and, to be wise consumers, people need to change their behaviour, especially their purchasing patterns by prioritising needs over wants.

“Avoid panic buying and impulse purchases because when many consumers do this, it will hike up prices. So, calm down and think first before shopping and get rid of the habit of spending at will without planning and beyond your means.

“Wise consumers should realise that they actually have a choice and the purchasing power in shaping the demand and supply in the market which can influence the price fluctuations of goods and services,“ it said.

It also advised consumers to compare prices before making purchases through the PriceCather application introduced by KPDNHEP, which can help consumers compare the prices of more than 400 daily necessities.

The application is the result of the efforts of more than 1,000 KPDNHEP price monitoring officers who collect daily price information at retail premises throughout Malaysia, including hypermarkets, supermarkets, mini markets, grocery stores and wet markets.

The division also explained that there are 12 main groups in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) classification involving 552 goods and services, with 781 specifications collected every month nationwide from about 21,800 selected premises or shops.

Citing a report from the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM), of the 12 main groups, there are three groups with the highest weightage (weighting value), namely food and non-alcoholic beverages (29.5 per cent), housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (23.8 per cent) and transportation (14.6 per cent), which represent nearly 70 per cent of total household expenditure.

“This means that for every RM1,000 you have, RM700 will be used to buy or pay off all three things and the remaining RM300 is disposable income for other uses or for savings.

“This weightage indicates the tendency of consumers to purchase meaningful products or services. This means the more a household spends on a particular item, the higher the value of its weighted percentage,“ it added.-Bernama