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Malaysia's economic activity outcome to improve in Q3 – DOSM

1st October, 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s economic activity outcome for the third quarter (Q3) is expected to improve, given the government’s various stimulus packages to support overall economic growth, said the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM).

Chief statistician, Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the economic recovery has begun with the reactivation of economic activities and was reflected by macroeconomic indicators in July, marking the preliminary indication for Q3.

“This is in line with the Leading Index, which suggests an economic recovery in the near term and projects a brighter economic prospect for next year,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.

Mohd Uzir said this scenario was attributed to the increase in the total labour force at 15.82 million persons in July 2020, from 15.76 million the previous month.

The unemployment rate also dropped to 4.7 per cent in July compared with 4.8 per cent in the preceding month, he added.

“In terms of turnover, sales value of the manufacturing sector increased to RM119.3 billion in July, growing 2.1 per cent month-on-month.

“Wholesale and retail trade also recovered in July, generating RM108.7 billion sales volume with a growth rate of 5.6 per cent compared with the previous month,” he said.

The favourable sales growth in this sub-sector was largely contributed by automotive sales following the effective tax relief strategy by the government, said Mohd Uzir.

In terms of Malaysia’s merchandise trade, he noted that July recorded an increase in total trade amounting to RM159.9 billion compared to RM144.7 billion the previous month. In July, total exports increased by 11.7 per cent while imports rose 8.7 per cent.

On a year-on-year basis, he said exports increased by 3.1 per cent while imports declined in July this year. In August, both exports and imports recorded a decline, however, trade balance continuously remained surplus.

Mohd Uzir also viewed the role of the tourism sector within the economy as crucial, as tourism-related activities engaged 23.6 per cent of employment and contributed 15.9 per cent, or RM240.2 billion, to Malaysia’s economy last year.

“The government’s tourism initiatives to spur promotional packages, had, in turn, garnered encouraging responses and reinvigorated domestic tourism activities this year,” he added. –Bernama

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