Malaysian Economy Expanded By 16.1% In 2Q 2021 Following Decline Last Year
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(Image: Malay Mail/Ahmad Zamzahuri)

The Malaysian economy has grown by 16.1% in the second quarter of 2021 compared to the -0.5% growth during the same period last year. However, on a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted basis, the economy registered a decline of 2.0% from 2.7% in the preceding quarter.

The Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) also highlighted that the strong growth for 2Q was attributed to the low base recorded in the second quarter of 2020. “Based on growth recorded, the level of economic value in this quarter remained lower than the pre-pandemic level of fourth quarter 2019,” DOSM revealed in a statement.  

With regards to monthly GDP performance, April and May rose to 40.1% and 19.8% respectively, but GDP in June dropped 4.4% due to the total lockdown nationwide. Hence, Malaysia’s economy only grew by 7.1% in the first half of 2021.

According to Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), economic performance was supported mainly by the improvement in domestic demand and continued robust exports performance. “All economic sectors registered an improvement, particularly the manufacturing sector,” said the central bank in its statement. “On the expenditure side, growth was driven by higher private sector spending and strong trade activity.”

Taking into account the various economic developments and assumptions on the National Recovery Plan (NRP) phases based on the pace of vaccination rollouts, BNM projects that the Malaysian economy will expand between 3.0% and 4.0% in 2021. The new projections are lower than the previously announced growth range of 6.0 – 7.5%, mostly due to the re-imposition of nationwide containment measures.

“Nevertheless, the expected re-opening of the economy would support a gradual recovery in the fourth quarter this year, with higher global growth and sustained policy support providing a further lift to economic growth,” said BNM. “The recovery is expected to accelerate further going into 2022, supported by a gradual normalisation of economic activities as well as the positive spillovers from continued improvement in external demand.”

(Source: BNM, DOSM)

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