Economic recovery likely in early months of 2021 – DoSM

by BERNAMA

Malaysia’s economy is expected to continue its journey towards recovery in the early months of 2021, according to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM).

Citing the recent the Asian Development Bank (ADB) economic report, chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr. Mohd Uzir Mahidin said Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to fall by 6.0 per cent this year before bouncing back to 7.0 per cent in 2021.

Hence, he said it is crucial to find the right solution and targeted approach to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, while ensuring that the industry players would not be hugely impacted.

“Malaysia’s economy is gradually recovering as the unprecedented pandemic situation is still controllable with the strict Standard Operating Procedures set by the government,” he said.

He also noted that the government’s policies and initiatives have supported the stabilisation of the labour market condition, leading to a gradual improvement.

Mohd Uzir added that more strategised efforts should be made to promote entrepreneurship as an income source, producing job creators as opposed to job seekers, especially among the youths.

Simultaneously, to increase employability, youths must always be ready to update and upgrade their knowledge and skills to ensure that they remain agile and adaptable to the ever-changing labour market prerequisites, he said.

Meanwhile, he also noted that the government had also recently permitted inter-district and interstate travel, which would boost domestic tourism activities.

“Moreover, the year-end period will usually be bustling with tourism activities as people take advantage of the long Christmas, New Year and school holidays, thus contributing to the significant growth of the tourism-based industries nationwide,” he said.

Mohd Uzir also highlighted that the COVID-19 pandemic was a blessing in disguise for e-commerce, as online purchases had increased, which also helped to boost post and courier service providers’ revenue.

Online businesses have also contributed to the increase in the use of information and communications technology, where traders have actively utilised the digital platforms for the survival of their businesses.

“Entrepreneurs in the informal sectors, such as food, clothing and handcrafted item sellers have actively adapted to using these platforms in creative ways through the social media, which attributed to the mushrooming of these activities,” he said.

He noted that under Budget 2021, the government has provided some financial assistance for entrepreneurs.

“Nevertheless, more proactive approaches is needed for the sustainability of their livelihood,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mohd Uzir said the domestic labour force has increased to 15.96 million persons in October 2020, from 15.93 million persons in September 2020.

“Nonetheless, unemployment rate in October 2020 was 4.7 per cent — a 0.1 percentage point increase from September 2020 after registering a decreasing trend for four consecutive months since June 2020,” he said.

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s exports of goods in October 2020 increased by 0.2 per cent year-on-year to RM91.1 billion, the second highest monthly export value registered in 2020.

The positive growth was supported by the increase in exports of rubber gloves, palm oil and palm oil-based products, as well as electrical and electronic products.

Additionally, the manufacturing sector continues to be the driving force of the economy, with a positive growth of 2.4 per cent, contributed by both domestic and export-oriented industries.