SUBANG JAYA, Aug 18 ― With domestic consumption on the rise, the government is confident that the retail sector, which employs 1.7 million people, could recover up to 80 per cent of revenue prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, said Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed .
Mustapa, who is also the minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Economy), said this is in tandem with the nation’s gradual economic recovery, which he believes will rebound to near pre-Covid-19 times by year-end.
“Based on recent [economic] indicators that were recently released, including the [decreasing] unemployment numbers, we expect for the fourth quarter of the year, there will an increase in economic recovery,” he said to the press after conducting a working visit to the Sunway Pyramid Mall here.
Mustapa added that he expects to see better performances in Q3 and a gradual recovery by Q4 2020, keeping in line with Bank Negara Malaysia revision of 2020 gross domestic product (GDP) forecast to -3.5 per cent to -5.5 per cent after announcing a 17.1 per cent contraction in the second quarter of 2020’s GDP growth.
Mustapa, along with Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi, visited Sunway Pyramid to observe the condition of retailers post the movement control order.
The visit is also as part of their engagement with various stakeholders in the retail industry, namely the Malaysian Retailer Association and Malaysia Retailer Chain Association, among others.
According to recent data released by the Malaysian Shopping Mall association, in July, some 90 to 95 per cent of retail outlets were in operations with mall visitors hitting 80 per cent.