Volume index of wholesale and retail trade records largest decline in 12 years

The volume index of retail trade recorded 21.2% contraction against last year


THE country’s volume index of wholesale and retail trade plunged 23.4% to register 97.8 points versus the previous year, noting the largest decline since 2008.

Statistics Department chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin (picture) said the implementation of Movement Control Order (MCO) has led to the closure of showrooms, car dealer and service centres thus affected the sales of vehicles and spare parts to customers.

“Compared to the same period in 2019, motor vehicles subsector suffered the most to record 48% decrease mostly due to sales of motor vehicles which fell 50.7% and sale of motor vehicles parts and accessories plunging 47.5%.

“This subsector also contracted 43.8% against the preceding quarter,” he said in a statement yesterday.

The volume index of retail trade recorded 21.2% contraction against last year, which was dragged by the retail sale of other goods in specialised stores which registered 34.1% decrease and retail sale of cultural and recreation goods with contraction of 33.3%.

Mohd Uzir said for quarterly comparison, the seasonally adjusted volume index of wholesale and retail trade contracted 23.1% against the first quarter of 2020.

“Motor vehicles subsector recorded negative growth of 45.4%. “Meanwhile, retail trade and wholesale trade subsectors slipped 20.7% and 20.2% respectively compared to the previous quarter,” he said.

Online retail sales index which depicts e-commerce activities recorded 35.5% year-on-year (YoY) growth, whereas the index rose 5.8% month-on-month (MoM).

In terms of MoM performance in sales value, wholesale and retail trade recorded RM102.9 billion, registering a double-digit growth of 21.8% in June 2020 versus the last month, attributable to the wholesale trade subsector which contributed RM49 billion.

Mohd Uzir said the contribution was tailed by the motor vehicle with RM12.1 billion and retail trade, recording 13% growth to RM41.8 billion.

“Other specialised wholesale spearheaded the increment to register RM17.3 billion with 35.6 % MoM growth.

“Wholesale of household goods also increased to record 20.1% to RM10.3 billion. This was followed by wholesale of machinery, equipment and supplies which generated sales of RM4.2 billion, expanded 23.2% against May 2020,” he said in a statement yesterday.

He added that the motor vehicles subsector soared to register 78.9% in June 2020, as its sales recorded the highest MoM increase to achieve RM6.7 billion.

“This was followed by the sale of motor vehicles parts and accessories which registered sales value of RM2.9 billion, increased RM1.1 billion, equivalent to 59.7%.

“Maintenance and repair of motor vehicles also depicted an increment of RM0.5 billion or 44.6% to register RM1.5 billion,” he said.

For retail trade, all retail activities continued to record positive growth in June, especially in retail sales in non-specialised stores with RM16 billion, posting 9.1% growth from the previous month.

It was followed by retail sale in specialised stores which rose RM1.3 billion or 18.8% to RM8.2 billion.

“Retail sale of household equipment also expanded to record RM5.1 billion, an increase of RM0.7 billion or 16.7%,” he said.

In terms of YoY, however, sales of wholesale and retail trade recorded a decrease of 8.4% against the previous year, which has improved from two consecutive months of double-digit negative growth.

“Wholesale trade subsector registered the biggest fall among subsectors with RM4.6 billion or a decrease of 8.7% compared to a year ago.

“Similarly, retail trade decreased to RM4.2 billion or 9.2%. Motor vehicles are also down 4.5% in this month,” he said.