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CLICK TO ENLARGEPETALING JAYA: The country’s projected V-shape economic recovery will hinge on the performance of the economy in the third quarter (Q3) of this year.
Economists had earlier forecast that there would be a V-shape economic recovery underpinned by the global economic growth, pick-up in the immunisation programme and improvement in consumer spending.
Malaysia had faced several major economic crises such as the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997, the dotCom Bubble in 2000 and the Global Financial Crisis in 2008.
One common feature among the crises was that they showed a V-shape economic recovery, where a sharp decline in the economy was immediately followed by a rapid recovery within three to five quarters.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and headwinds, Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth is projected to be lower at between 3% and 4% from an earlier estimate of between 6% and 7.5% year-on-year (y-o-y).
In the second quarter, the GDP grew 16.1% y-o-y, mainly due to the low base effect following four consecutive quarters of contraction.
According to Socio-Economic Research Centre executive director Lee Heng Guie, (pic below) the shape of economic recovery would depend on the second-half performance, especially from the July to September period.Lee Heng Guie, executive director of Socio-Economic Research Centre
He told StarBiz that Q3 holds the key to a gradual resumption of economic and business activities due to the reopening of more economic and social sectors.
“While the increasing rate of vaccinations will support the normalcy of activities, the virus risk can still pose a threat to lives and the economy.
“Therefore, there need to be continued pandemic mitigation and surveillance, including adherence to standard operating procedures to ensure a sustained economic and business revival.
“A slew of key economic data namely exports, industrial output, wholesale and retail sales for July has shown a sharp pullback in growth or a decline in consumer spending, reflecting the scarring economic effects from the movement control order 3.0 which started in June,” he added.
The uptick in unemployment rate to 4.8% in July also weighed on the consumer sentiment, he said.
There are indications that the overall economic output, as measured by the GDP, would be subdued in Q3 before recovering to positive growth in the following quarter.
Lee, however, is maintaining his full-year 2021’s GDP growth estimate at 4% amid the considerable uncertainties.
Besides continued exports expansion, albeit slower in the second half of the year as the low base effect dissipates, he said the manufacturing and services sectors also hold the key underpinning the economic rebound.