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Real wage growth in Malaysia forecast to be 3.6% for 2019

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Asian countries are forecast to increase by 5.6% in 2019 according to latest data from Korn Ferry. This marks a 0.2 percentage point increase from last year (5.4%).

In Malaysia, salaries are expected to grow by 5.0%. However, taking into account a predicted 1.4% increase in inflation, ‘real’ wage growth comes in at 3.6% – up from 3.5% in 2018.

Korn Ferry’s forecast further revealed that 100% of companies in Malaysia are expected to give raises in 2019. However, it emphasised: “Paying your people correctly is important – but is only one of the things that contributes to an engaged workforce.

“Even when pay is rising significantly above the rate of inflation, there are other things you need to do to keep employees engaged – like providing career development, clarity on how people contribute, and leadership that inspires people. When pay is barely rising, these things become even more important in retaining and motivating employees.”

Among other Asian countries included, China’s ‘real’ wage growth is expected to weaken to 3.2% in 2019 – down from 4.2% last year. While Japan saw a ‘real’ wage prediction of 0.1% for 2019 compared to the 2018 prediction of 1.6%.

Asian countries that saw year-over-year increases include Vietnam’s with a ‘real’ wage growth forecast of 4.8% in 2019 (up from 4.6% last year),and Singapore with a forecast of 3.0% (up from 2.3% last year).

5 Asian countries with the highest expected ‘real’ wage growth

#1 India

  • 2019 salary forecast: 10.0%
  • 2019 inflation forecast: 5.0%
  • 2019 ‘real’ salary forecast: 5.0%
  • 2018 salary forecast: 9.0%
  • 2018 ‘real’ increase prediction: 4.7%

#2 Vietnam

  • 2019 salary forecast: 8.8%
  • 2019 inflation forecast: 4.0%
  • 2019 ‘real’ salary forecast: 4.8%
  • 2018 salary forecast: 8.6%
  • 2018 ‘real’ increase prediction: 4.6%

#3 Thailand

  • 2019 salary forecast: 5.5%
  • 2019 inflation forecast: 1.6%
  • 2019 ‘real’ salary forecast: 3.9%
  • 2018 salary forecast: 5.5%
  • 2018 ‘real’ increase prediction: 4.5%

#4 Indonesia

  • 2019 salary forecast: 7.8%
  • 2019 inflation forecast: 4.1%
  • 2019 ‘real’ salary forecast: 3.7%
  • 2018 salary forecast: 8.0%
  • 2018 ‘real’ increase prediction: 3.4%

#5 Malaysia

  • 2019 salary forecast: 5.0%
  • 2019 inflation forecast: 1.4%
  • 2019 ‘real’ salary forecast: 3.6%
  • 2018 salary forecast: 6.0%
  • 2018 ‘real’ increase prediction: 3.5%

The data was drawn from Korn Ferry’s pay database which contains data for more than 20 million job holders in 25,000 organisations across more than 110 countries.

It shows predicted salary increases, as forecasted by global HR leaders, for 2019 and compares them to predictions made at this time last year regarding 2018. It also compares them to 2019 inflation forecasts from the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Infographic / Korn Ferry



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