Wholesale and retail trade recorded RM114.8b in January 2020

According to DoSM, the growth is mainly attributed to retail trade which rose RM2.9b, while wholesale trade and motor vehicles rose RM2.8b and RM100m respectively


According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM), a total of RM114.8 billion was recorded in wholesale and retail trade in January 2020, an increase of RM5.8 billion or 5.4% compared to the same month a year ago.

The growth mainly was attributed to retail trade which increased RM2.9 billion, while wholesale trade and motor vehicles rose RM2.8 billion and RM100 million respectively.

The volume index of wholesale and retail trade posted a growth of 5.5% driven by retail trade with 6.7%. As for the seasonally adjusted volume index, it declined 0.4% against December 2019. For performance across subsector:

Wholesale Trade
Wholesale trade generated sales value of RM55.6 billion, a 5.2% increase to RM2.8 billion compared to the corresponding month of the previous year.

The volume index expanded 5.3% to 131.9 points compared to the same month of the preceding year.

Retail Trade
Sales registered a year-on-year (YoY) growth of 6.7% compared to January 2019.

The volume index rose 6.7% to 147.7 points in January 2020.

Motor Vehicles
Sales value of motor vehicles went up 1% against the corresponding period of the previous year.

The volume index rose 0.9% to 104.3 points compared to a year ago.

Participation Rate
The labour force participation rate in January 2020 remained at 68.9% for two consecutive months, but increased 0.3 percentage points compared to the same month in the previous year: 
January 2020      — 68.9%
December 2019   — 68.9%
January 2019       — 68.6%

The number of labour force increased 2.1% in January 2020 compared to January 2019:
January 2020       — 15.83 million persons
December 2019    — 15.8 million persons
January 2019        — 15.51 million persons

During the same period, employed persons also increased 2.2% to 15.32 million persons:
January 2020       — 15.32 million
December 2019    — 15.29 million
January 2019        — 14.99 million

A total of 31.1% of working age population (15-64 years old) were outside the labour force, which comprised housewives, students, retirees and those not interested to work:
January 2020       — 7.13 million
December 2019    — 7.13 million
January 2019        — 7.1 million

Unemployment Rate
The unemployment rate in January 2020 eased to 3.2% compared to 3.3% in December 2019. During this month, the number of unemployed accounted for 511.7 thousand persons, decrease of 1% compared to the previous month:
January 2020      — 3.2%
December 2019   — 3.3%
January 2019       — 3.3%

Manufacturing sales grew 2.6% in January 2020, registering RM118.2 billion compared to RM115.2 billion reported a year ago, said the DoSM.

The YoY growth was driven by the increase in petroleum, chemical, rubber and plastic products (6.9%), non-metallic mineral products, basic metal and fabricated metal products (4.7%) and electrical and electronics products (4.3%).

Total employees engaged in the manufacturing sector in January 2020 was 2,280,951 persons, an increase of 1.4% or 32,559 persons.

Salaries and wages paid amounted to RM7.66 billion, up 4.1% or RM301.3 million in January 2020.

The sales value per employee grew 1.2% to a record RM51,831, while the average salaries and wages per employee was RM3,360.

The DoSM stated that Malaysia’s natural rubber production increased 13.3% in January 2020 to 66,232 tonnes compared to the previous month.

Exports amounted to 45,827 tonnes, down by 9.3% against 50,516 tonnes in December 2019. The primary natural rubber export destination:
China           — 44.3%
Germany    — 13.4%
Finland       — 5.1%
US                — 4.1%
Italy             — 3.3%

Stocks of natural rubber in January 2020 increased 17.8% to 288,586 tonnes compared to 245,002 tonnes in December 2019:
Rubber processors    — 89.6%
Rubber consumers   — 9.9%
Rubber estates           — 0.5%

Average price of latex concentrate was 459.6 sen per kg in January 2020, an increase of 1% compared to December 2019. Meanwhile, the average price of Standard Malaysian Rubber 20 decreased by 0.9% to 590.38 sen per kg for the same period.

Total domestic consumption of natural rubber was 42,015 tonnes, a decrease of 22.9% against 54,477 tonnes as reported in December 2019. Rubber gloves industry dominates the use of natural rubber with 31,686 tonnes of the total domestic consumption:
Rubber gloves    — 75.4%
Rubber thread    — 8.8%
Tyres and tubes  — 6.5%
Others                   — 9.3%

The Industrial Production Index (IPI) grew 0.6% in January 2020 compared to the same month of the previous year, driven by the increase in the index of manufacturing (2.1%). Meanwhile, the index of mining and electricity recorded a decline of 3.9% and 0.01% respectively.

The manufacturing sector output rose YoY by 2.1% in January 2020 after recording a growth of 3.4% in December 2019. The major subsectors contributing to the increase were:

Non-metallic mineral products, basic metal and fabricated metal products — 3.9%

Petroleum, chemical, rubber and plastic products — 3.6% Electrical and electronics products — 3.2%

The mining sector output dropped 3.9% in January 2020 compared to the same period of the previous year due to the decrease in both indices under mining sector which were:

Crude oil and condensate — 5.9%

Natural gas — 2.3%