International Business & Economy records slowest growth since 2009 due to virus

Malaysia records slowest growth since 2009 due to virus

It was the worst figure since the economy shrank in 2009 during the global financial crisis, but strong domestic consumption provided support and helped defy gloomy forecasts of a one percent contraction. 

Author

Date

Category

- Advertisement -

’s economy grew at its slowest pace in more than a decade during the first three months of the year as the coronavirus pandemic battered the country, but still managed to beat forecasts, data showed Wednesday.

Gross domestic product grew 0.7 percent on-year in January-March, the central bank reported, compared with 3.6 percent growth in the previous quarter.

It was the worst figure since the economy shrank in 2009 during the global financial crisis, but strong domestic consumption provided support and helped defy gloomy forecasts of a one percent contraction.

However analysts expect the full effects of the virus to be felt in the second quarter, as Malaysia only went into lockdown to halt the spread of in mid-March.

- Advertisement -

The curbs, which saw people ordered to stay home and most businesses to close, have cost the economy at least 63 billion ringgit ($14.5 billion), according to Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

Restrictions were eased at the start of May as Malaysia’s relatively minor outbreak slowed, although some will remain in place until at least next month.

“The data surprised on the upside in the end,” said Wellian Wiranto, OCBC Bank economist.

“It appears that we had all underestimated the strength of the consumers to power on, come what may.”

Authorities have sought to bolster the economy, with the central bank slashing interest rates and the government rolling out massive stimulus packages.

Tourism and trade have been hard hit, with demand for Malaysia’s key exports such as oil and rubber falling, while the collapse in oil prices has also taken a toll.

In addition, political uncertainty has added to risks for investors — the democratically-elected government collapsed earlier this year and was replaced by an administration that includes a scandal-hit party ejected from office in 2018.

Given the unpredictable domestic and global outlook, analysts are not ruling out further rate cuts.

Wiranto said the central bank would “not be hesitant to cut rates further” if there were signs the economy was struggling despite the easing of virus curbs.

sr/dan

© Agence France-Presse

/AFP

Please follow and like us:
Tweet
Share
- Advertisement -

Coding workshop led by new WP MPs sells out due to overwhelming response

Seats at a beginners' coding workshop that is scheduled to be run by three Workers' Party (WP) parliamentarians have sold out after the event drew an overwhelming response from the public. Jointly organised by the Aljunied Constituency Committee and Singapore-based e-commerce platform,...

Goh Chok Tong leaves no “stone” unturned after operation to remove large one from kidney

Singapore -- Former Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) Goh Chok Tong, who recently underwent an operation to remove a large kidney stone, has disclosed that the first thing he did after waking up from the anaesthesia was to check on his brain...

PM Lee says not suing siblings did not mean permission for anyone else to defame him

Singapore -- "I had decided to take a different approach with my siblings but it didn't mean carte blanche for anyone else to use that and further defame me,” said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in reference to not suing Dr...
Please follow and like us:
Tweet
Share
Follow Me
Tweet