The Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) expects the Malaysian economy to gradually recover in the months ahead.
The recovery will be mainly supported by the performances of manufacturing production and sales, sales and volume of wholesale and retail trade as well as external trade, said DOSM in its Malaysian Economic Statistics Review (MESR) report, reported the New Straits Times (NST).
Datuk Sri Dr. Mohd Uzir Mahidin, Chief Statistician of Malaysia, noted that robust and befitting policies like Prihatin and Penjana packages served as the catalysts in balancing the overall consequences of the Covid-19 outbreak and Movement Control Order (MCO) to the economy.
Aside from easing the financial burden of Malaysian households, the packages also helped stimulate domestic spending which spark local businesses, he said.
In fact, a rebound in operation activities and significant improvement in business sentiment contributed to an 8.8% export growth to RM82.9 billion in June, resulting in a RM20.9 billion trade surplus.
“Besides, the Industrial Production Index (IPI) surged at 18.2% in May compared with the previous month. The wholesale and retail trade sales value also rebounded at 26.3% in May 2020 against the previous month,” he said as quoted by NST.
The country’s labour force participation rate, on the other hand, slightly declined to 68% in May from the previous month, as outflows into the outside labour force increased.
“The number of employed persons fell by 0.3% while the unemployment rate recorded 5.3% after posting 5.0% in the previous month,” said Uzir.
He explained that the drop in the number of employed persons is anticipated to reduce the income of households, affecting their purchasing power.
A recent report by DOSM also found that the income gap among Malaysian household had widened as reflected by Gini Coefficient, which rose to 0.407 in 2019 from 0.399 in 2016.
Nonetheless, the report expects the government’s continuous stimulus packages to gradually improve market situation. This will also stimulate a healthy labour market condition, generating income for the households.
“This will consequently increase domestic consumption activities and uplift the Malaysian households’ overall well-being,” it added.