Wholesale, retail trade sales showed recovery in August

by HARIZAH KAMEL / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

SALES value of wholesale and retail trade recorded RM111.4 billion in August 2020 with improved negative growth of 2.3% year-on-year (YoY) compared to -3.5% in July.

According to the latest report by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM), month-on-month sales value also continued to post a positive growth of 2.5% in August compared to July.

The sales value was the highest since the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) due to Covid-19, exceeding the pre-MCO value registered in February which amounted to RM109. billion.

Chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said all subsectors continued to recover, led by motor vehicles which registered positive growth for two consecutive months against August 2019.

Retail trade was also on the recovery path with -1.5% from -3.8% in the previous month, while wholesale trade improved from -4.5% recorded in July to -3.9% in August.

“For the motor vehicles subsector, sales of motor vehicles recorded the highest growth of 3.1% YoY to achieve RM7.9 billion. This encouraging growth was mainly due to the tax relief announced by the government through the short-term National Economic Recovery Plan.

“The sale, maintenance and repair of motorcycles, which registered a sales value of RM1 billion, grew 2.4%,” he said in a statement yesterday.

However, sale of motor vehicles parts and accessories contracted 2.6% or RM3.1 billion compared to the corresponding month of the previous year, while maintenance and repair of motor vehicles also decreased 2.3% to RM1.7 billion.

He added that for retail trade, the negative growth of 1.5% was due to decline in the sales of non-essential products namely cultural and recreation goods (-9.7%), specialised stores (-7.2%), household goods (-4.2%), and information and communication equipment (-3.8%).

Meanwhile, sales of essential products recorded a positive growth mainly in non-specialised stores which registered an increase of 4.7% to RM16.7 billion YoY, followed by food and beverages (F&B), and tobacco which increased 5.7% to RM2.9 billion.

Retail sales via stalls and markets also expanded 9.8% to RM0.1 billion. Similarly, retail trade not in stores, stalls or markets also edged up to record RM400 million (6.8%).

Commenting further on the wholesale trade subsector, Mohd Uzir said the fall of -3.9% YoY in August was attributed to other specialised wholesale and wholesale on a fee or contract basis with -3.5% and -6.2% respectively.

Online retail sales index, which portrays e-commerce activity, also expanded to record 37.4% YoY growth.

In terms of volume index, wholesale and retail trade grew -2.4% YoY, attributed to wholesale trade which recorded -3.4%, followed by retail trade which contracted 2.3%.

In a separate report titled “Industrial Production Index (IPI), Malaysia, August 2020”, Mohd Uzir said the IPI continues to record positive growth of 0.3% in August 2020 compared to the same month of the previous year.

The increase was driven by the positive growth of 2.4% in the manufacturing index, while the mining and electricity index recorded a decrease of 6.7% and 1.2% respectively.

“The manufacturing sector output based on YoY comparison grew by 2.4% in August after recording an increase of 2.9% in July.

“The major subsectors contributing to the growth in the manufacturing sector in August were electrical and electronics (E&E) products (6.9%), transport equipment and other manufacturers (6.9%), and F&B and tobacco (4.7%),” he said.

He noted that both electricity and mining sectors output dropped 1.2% and 6.7% respectively, compared to the same period of the previous year, the latter due to the decrease in crude oil and condensate index (-5%) and natural gas index (-8%).

Concurrently, Malaysia’s manufacturing sales in August stood at RM118.5 billion, grew 1.7% compared to the previous year, but the sales value decreased 0.5% on a monthly basis.

“The YoY growth in sales value was driven by the increase in transport equipment and other manufactured products (16.2%), F&B and tobacco products (12.8%), as well as E&E products (7.1%),” he said.

Mohd Uzir added that the total employees engaged in the manufacturing sector were 2.19 million persons, a 2.5% decrease compared to 2.25 million persons in August 2019.

He also stated that salaries and wages paid amounted to RM7,112.6 million, decreased by RM232.1 million against the same month of the preceding year.

Additionally, the sales value per employee rose by 4.3% to RM54,112 and the average salaries and wages per employee were RM3,247.