Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Are We In A Recession?

Given the 2 rounds of retrenchments in my company and news that tens of thousands of people are out of a job in Malaysia, it feels like the bubble finally burst and recession has truly hit our shores.

But I was in Jarrod & Rawlin's in Damanara Heights for dinner and the place was full of large groups of people laughing and having a jolly good time. Dinner and drinks for 5 of us come up to almost RM600. So that place isn't exactly a place for those on a budget.

And recently, I've been getting a few calls regarding jobs within the industry.

Isn't that surprising?

We're in recession, supposedly, but so many agencies are hiring. And hiring pretty aggressively too.

So actually, are we really in a recession?


Anonymous said...


I think you've the hit the nail on the head. It's almost surrealrigh now in Malaysia. On the one hand, there is the doom and gloom in the news and yes some retrenchment, but by and large everyone I know seems to be on a business as usual mode. What's up with that? Is it a case of denial, delayed reaction - as in the worst is yet to come, or the doomsayers have it wrong?

Fieran said...

Indeed, it is contradictory. I don't know if Malaysia is on a recession or not but I have heard of people losing their jobs. My sisters back home are still shopping though, so I think that's a good sign ;) You are very right about studying abroad. It's a really good experience.

In your other post you asked how life was here.. hmm, it's different. Norway is rich in the lifestyle type of culture, not food and making merry - but more of the importance of having a balanced life, appreciating nature, traveling the world, etc. They are not big on food - their idea of food is a slice of bread with some salami. We are so pampered in Malaysia, so it took me awhile to adjust. But I was eager to adjust. I just hoard Malaysian spices and instant coffee/tea for the days when I am a bit homesick.

I like my life here. Earning in a strange currency (its cheaper than MYR and you spend it in multiples of 100 usually) is useful when you travel -- everything feels cheap.

As for the economy in Norway - Google closed its offices early this year. It's not very publicized but I have heard some rumors of people losing their jobs. However the Norwegian labour law is employee-centric so I am sure the employees get good severance packages and can move to other jobs. I just hope I don't lose my job...will be difficult to find another one like this.

Bubbles said...

Hi Anon!

I do feel its denial, delayed reaction and just hoping for the best. Quite a dangerous stance to take, I feel.

I'm just trying to keep my current lifestyle but be more cautious with spending and not cutting back totally.

The upside is if one does have extra cash in hand now, it's a great time to travel to Europe!

But why hasn't the USD dropped against the RM if the recession stemmed from there?

Bubbles said...

Hi Fieran!

Yeah lots of sales going on here but that's prob cos the stores needs to general more income for themselves.

The Europeans got it right when it comes to work / life balance.

I heard that Norway, as a country, has gone bankrupt?

Fieran said...

Nono, only Iceland went bankrupt. Norwegian banks are very conservative, I think they are still fine.

Bubbles said...

I see. Okay good to know that you're fine. :)

Anonymous said...

I been pre-warned about the coming recession since last year way before christmas, but not as per yet prepare myself to face it. Anyway, the recession not as bad as in 1997, when i was 14, I remember thats the real doom. From 10 businesses close to 5. And govenrment huge projects all stop in an instance. I see, we malaysian face this round much better, projects still going on and even more aggressive in business to sustain till end of this period. Anyway, thats what ordinary with no econ background lady see.