Given the recent uptick in the country’s economic performance, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz is optimistic that Malaysia’s economy would rebound in 2021.
“Of course, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) forecast for Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2021 is very strong, between 6% and 8%, but this is subject to how we Malaysia and the world address the Covid-19 health crisis,” Bernama quoted him as saying following a visit to Vitrox Technologies Sdn Bhd in Batu Kawan.
“We are watching this closely, but I’m very optimistic after seeing the facts and figures that were presented before us, especially for June and July.”
Tengku Zafrul explained that the 0.4 percentage point decline in unemployment rate to 4.9% in June, from May’s record-high of 5.3%, bodes well for Malaysia’s economy.
In comparison, unemployment rate increased in the Philippines (17.7%), the United States (11.1%), India (11%) and China (5.7%).
He noted that most European countries also registered double digit unemployment rates, while Malaysia’s unemployment rate “is still under control”.
On Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) upcoming announcement on the second quarter of 2020 GDP results, Tengku Zafrul expects the results to be impacted by the enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO), reported Bernama.
“Having said that, we are not alone as the Covid-19 is a global pandemic; more than 150 countries in the world will face an economic contraction in 2020.”
According to him, the results for the third quarter of 2020 would depend on how the Covid-19 pandemic is handled.
“If we can sustain the growth, Q3 2020 should be better than Q2 2020, but Q4 2020 will also depend on how the global economy has improved, because, as you know, we are a very open economy and we are very much part of the global supply chain,” he said.