Wholesale, retail trade record highest decline in June

by SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / pic by BERNAMA

MALAYSIA’S wholesale and retail trade dropped 10.3% in June to RM92.2 billion, the highest decline recorded this year, due to the worsening Covid-19 cases and the lockdown implementation nationwide.

According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia’s monthly update, the motor vehicles subsector suffered the most with a 92.4% plunge or RM11.2 billion to RM900 million worth of sales.

Subsequently, the retail trade dropped 2.9% or RM1.2 billion to RM40.6 billion while the wholesale trade grew 3.6% or RM1.8 billion to RM50.7 billion.

For the month-on-month (MoM) comparison, sales value decreased 14.8% in June.

Chief statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin (picture) said based on the performance across sub-sectors, the decline of motor vehicles’ sub-sector at 92.4% in June was dragged down by its sale which plummeted 94.8% or RM6.4 billion to RM300 million.

“This was followed by the sale of motor vehicles parts and accessories with 88.2% to record RM300 million.

“Similarly, maintenance and repair of motor vehicles also decreased 89.6% to RM200 million followed by sale, maintenance and repair of motorcycles with a decline of 92.3% to reach RM100 million,” he said.

For MoM comparison, sales of the sub-sector also registered a significant drop of 92%, Mohd Uzir said.

Commenting further on the retail trade sub-sector, Mohd Uzir said the 2.9% contraction was attributed to the retail sale in non-specialised stores which declined 7.2% or RM1.1 billion to RM14.8 billion, the first negative growth this year despite being allowed to operate during the lockdown period.

Similarly, the retail sale of automotive fuels also tumbled 21.6% to record at RM2.5 billion.

This was followed by the retail sale in the specialised stores and retail sale of the food, beverage and tobacco which decreased 0.6% and 0.5%, respectively.

However, other groups in the sub-sector recorded positive growth namely the retail sale of household goods at 6.6%, retail sale of information and communication equipment at 5.5%, retail sale of cultural and recreation goods at 3.7%, retail sale not in stores, stalls or market at 17% as well as the retail sale in stalls and market at 2.8%.

“As for MoM comparison, the retail trade went down 6.4% with all groups in this sub-sector registering negative growth,” he added.

Despite the declined performance, Mohd Uzir said the wholesale trade sub-sector grew 3.6% this month, supported by other specialised wholesale trade which jumped 17.2% or RM3 billion to RM20.2 billion.

It was followed by the wholesale of agricultural raw materials and live animals which expanded 2.9% or RM100 million to RM4.6 billion.

Conversely, wholesale of food, beverage and tobacco declined 9.2% followed by wholesale on a fee or contract basis, which was down 22.5%. For MoM comparison, the sales of the sub-sector contracted 4.8%.

Mohd Uzir said the index of retail sales for any kind of product over the Internet, which portrays e-commerce activity, recorded 8.7% growth year-on-year (YoY) compared to 15.8% last May.

“As for seasonally adjusted, the index slipped 2.8% as against the previous month.

“In terms of volume index, wholesale and retail trade registered a YoY decline of 12.4% and that the contraction was caused by motor vehicles which plunged 92.8%, followed by the retail trade and wholesale trade which fell 3.5% and 0.1%, respectively,” Mohd Uzir said.