by ASILA JALIL / Pic by AFP
Malaysia’s key economic indicators showed positive trends in October 2021 compared to the same period last year.
Chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said on the external front, Malaysia’s total trade rose 26.5% in October (Sep: 25.5%).
Exports rose 25.5% to RM114.4 billion and imports grew 27.9% to RM88.2 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of 17.9%.
“In view of the industrial performance, the Industrial Production Index (IPI) increased 5.5% as against October last year driven by an increase of 8.0% in the manufacturing index and 4.1% in the electricity index.
“In line with the better performance indicated by the manufacturing index, Malaysia’s manufacturing sales surged 15.3% in October 2021, mainly supported by petroleum, chemical, rubber, and plastic products,” he said in a statement yesterday.
For the first nine month of the year, Mohd Uzir said Malaysia’s economy picked up with a positive growth of 3% as compared to -6.4% during the same period last year.
“Following this, an optimistic economic outlook is anticipated in 2022 with the Asian Development Bank projecting that Asian developing economies will expand by 5.4 percent,” he said.
Wholesale & retail sales for October 2021 rose 5.4% year-on-year (YoY), the first increase registered since the implementation of the Full Movement Control Order (FMCO) in June 2021.
The performance was fuelled by the wholesale trade subsector, which continued to record a positive growth of 4.4% or equivalent to RM2.4 billion in October 2021 to attain RM55.8 billion.
Additionally, retail trade increased 5.1% while motor vehicles rebounded 10.2% following double-digit negative growths since FMCO.
He added the labour force remained stable as shown by the rise in the number of employment in October 2021, while the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since April 2020.
“The number of labour force rose 1.9% or 304.3 thousand persons to record 16.26 million persons (Oct 2020: 15.96 million persons), thus registering a higher labour force participation rate at 68.5%, which went up by 0.3 percentage points (ppt) as compared to the same month last year .
“Employment-to-population ratio, which indicates an economy’s desire to create employment, increased 0.5 ppt to 65.8% in October 2021. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate declined 0.4 ppt to record 4.3% (Oct 2020: 4.7%),” he said.
Consumer Price Index inclined 2.9% to 123.7 versus 120.2 in October last year. The Producer Price Index (PPI) local production increased by a double-digit percentage for the seventh consecutive month with 13.2% mainly contributed by the mining index.”
“Malaysia’s economy is projected to improve in the near future, owing to the global economy’s recovery trajectory. This is in line with the annual performance of Leading Index (LI) which increased 0.3% in October 2021.
“Simultaneously, the favourable LI’s performance indicates a more optimistic prospect for the upcoming months if the gradual normalisation of economic activity continues in tandem with the easing of interstate travel,” added Mohd Uzir.