MALAYSIANS, as well as foreigners who visited the country spent a total of RM79.96 billion from January 2012 to November 2012 via credit card transactions for various purchases last year.
Shopping Malaysia Secretariat senior deputy director Mohd Shahrir Mohd Ali said the numbers were derived from Bank Negara Malaysia statistics which comprised figures from various credit cards, such as Visa, MasterCard, Amex, JCB International Credit Cards and Diners.
"We don't have the figures for December last year and those figures are expected to be released by the end of this month," he told Business Times in an interview recently.
From January 2011 to November 2011, the shopping receipts via credit cards were recorded at RM75.56 billion, as compared to RM79.96 billion during that same corresponding period last year.
The total credit card spending in 2011 stood at RM83.6 billion.
"We are sure that the figures for last year are going to be higher than of 2011 because of the new shopping complexes, such as the Johor Premium Outlets," he said.
Shahrir said the total amount of money spent by tourist on shopping alone is expected to grow in the coming years, especially after being crowned as the fourth best country to shop by CNN recently.
"Let's say, for example, a tourist who comes to Malaysia has RM2,000 to spend, almost one third will be used on shopping alone," he said.
He said for this year, tourists are expected to spend at least RM840 per person.
"For Visit Malaysia Year 2014, we forecast tourist spending for shopping alone to be at RM924 person and in 2020 at RM1636 per person," he added.