14.2% Q3 GDP growth a proof of accurate and fruitful policies during Covid-19 crisis – Tengku Zafrul

KUALA LUMPUR – The gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 14.2 per cent in the third quarter (Q3) of this year is proof that a lot of the policies implemented during the COVID-19 crisis are accurate and fruitful, Minister of Finance Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Aziz (picture) said.

He said for the nine-month period of 2022, the country’s economy grew 9.3 per cent, the highest nine-month growth since 2000, or more than two decades ago.

“I am satisfied but a lot more work needs to be done to help the people’s economy.

“This Q3 GDP growth of 14.2 percent is good news because it means that businesses are growing and jobs are being created, which is why unemployment is already down to 3.6 per cent in September 2022, the lowest rate since its peak during COVID in May 2020 at 5.3 per cent,” he said in a press conference in Kuala Selangor today.

He said managing the economy during the pandemic is not easy due to the narrow fiscal space and the country implemented policies that have never been made by any country before such as the targeted moratorium and Employees Provident Fund (EPF) withdrawals.

“Alhamdulillah, this GDP achievement proves that many decisions made are correct,” he said.

The minister said the stimulus and assistance packages alone were worth a total of RM530 billion during the pandemic to help people and businesses.

He said this is on top of the Budget 2021 and 2022, which were worth a total of over RM654 billion.

He added that the government would have to work harder to ensure the people could live more comfortably, especially when the world economy is expected to slow down next year.

In a separate statement, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) said the unemployment rate decreased to 3.7 per cent in Q3 from 3.9 per cent in Q2 and is expected to continue until the end of 2022 in line with the implementation and continuation of various job stabilisation programmes as well as better business prospects.

It said domestic demand also showed positive signals through a strong manufacturing sector sales value increase of 19.5 per cent to RM161.7 billion as well as wholesale and retail trade sales which grew by 23.9 per cent to RM134 billion in September 2022.

Besides that, it said tourist arrivals increased to 3.2 million for January-July 2022 period compared with 60,000 in the same period last year.

MoF said investment activities in the local equity market remained stable in Q3 with net purchases from local retail investors contributing RM577.9 million.

“Overall, the local equity market recorded a net inflow of foreign funds worth RM6.6 billion in the January-September 2022 period with almost the entire amount of investment from foreign institutional investors.

Moving forward, MoF said the country’s economic prospects would also depend on the development of the global economy since Malaysia is an open economy.

“Various measures will be continued to increase the economic potential and continue making Malaysia an attractive investment destination as well as promoting more sustainable and inclusive economic growth,” it added.

Earlier, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor Tan Sri Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus announced that Malaysia’s economy grew by 14.2 per cent in Q3 driven by continued expansion in domestic demand, a strong recovery in the labor market, robust electrical and electronics (E&E) and non-E&E products export and continuous policy support. – Bernama