Malaysia’s economic indicators show recovery

Hotel occupancy rate nationwide has increased to 23.4% after the CMCO was lifted and cross-state travel was allowed


THE country’s economic recovery is measured through the encouraging indicators from the retail, tourism and commodity industries.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Arthur Joseph Kurup told the Dewan Negara yesterday that the retail sector is beginning to chart a gradual recovery.

He added that the hotel occupancy rate nationwide has increased to 23.4% after the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) was lifted and cross-state travel was allowed.

He said the crude palm oil (CPO) price reached a level above RM3,000 per tonne in November at RM3,422, while the SMR20 rubber price rose to the highest level to 6.33 sen per kg.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has affected Malaysia’s economic growth this year. The GDP contracted at 2.7% in the third quarter of 2020 (3Q20).

“All of the major sectors of the economy have been affected and posted a contraction, particularly the services sector which was down 4%, production sector down 12.4%, agriculture (0.7%) and mining (6.8%),” Arthur said.

He added that declines were mainly contributed by the implementation of the MCO.

“However, the negative impact on economic growth is temporary and is expected to recover in 2021,” he said.

Arthur was responding to Senator Datuk Teo Eng Tee @ Teo Kok Chee’s query on the current economic situation, and the challenges and measures taken to recover the economy from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The 2021 budget, which was approved in the Dewan Rakyat, introduces various measures to drive the economic recovery and welfare of the people.

“It is a budget of inclusiveness and comprehensive that focuses on three goals: People’s welfare, business continuity and economic resilience,” Arthur said.

He said for the long-term strategy, the preparation for the 12th Malaysia Plan 2021-2025 is now in the final stage.

“The strategies will take into account various efforts to restore and drive segments of the economy that are affected by the pandemic, as well as address the structural issues to ensure inclusive and sustainable growth,” he said.

Malaysia’s GDP is expected to grow between 6.5% and 7.5% in 2021, driven by the anticipated improvement in global growth and international trade.

Its growth rate contracted by 8.3% in the first half of 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and further charted a decline of 17.1% in 2Q20.

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Malaysia’s economic indicators point to recovery