KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 9 ― Malaysia’s wholesale and retail trade recorded the highest monthly sales value amounting to RM120.5 billion in December, with annual sales recording a four per cent growth to reach RM1.3 trillion in 2021 compared with the preceding year, according to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM).

On a month-on-month comparison, the sales value of wholesale and retail trade rose 2.5 per cent, supported by the reopening of various economic sectors including interstate travels. Recall that sales for the whole of 2020 contracted by 5.9 per cent ― a historical low.

In a statement today, chief statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin said 2021’s performance was underpinned by wholesale trade, which increased 6.4 per cent to RM641.8 billion, followed by retail trade which expanded 4.4 per cent to RM533.6 billion.

In contrast, the motor vehicles sub-sector recorded lower sales compared with 2020, down by 8.2 per cent to RM124 billion. Against 2019 pre-pandemic sales, the sector contracted 2.0 per cent.


On  a monthly basis, the 3.5 per cent rise in wholesale and retail trade in December was contributed by the retail trade sub-sector, which expanded 3.5 per cent to RM48.5 billion, due mainly to the six per cent growth in non-specialised stores to RM18 billion.

However, retail sales in specialised stores remained negative, contracting 3.1 per cent. The index for retail Internet sales for December recorded a 20.7 per cent growth compared to a year ago.

On a wholesale level, trade also expanded with a 4.1 per cent growth to RM57.6 billion in December 2021 driven by an 8.1 per cent expansion to RM11.5 billion in food, beverages and tobacco, followed by agricultural raw materials and live animals with 14.7 per cent growth to RM4.7 billion.


Similarly, other specialised wholesale increased 2.3 per cent to RM22.5 billion.

On a month-on-month basis, wholesale trade grew 2.2 per cent, contributed mainly by household goods which rose 4.4 per cent.

Meanwhile, Mohd Uzir said the 1.5 per cent growth recorded in the motor vehicles sub-sector was attributed mainly to car parts and accessories sales which rose 11.7 per cent to RM3.5 billion. December motor vehicle sales slipped 4.5 per cent.

On a quarterly comparison, the fourth quarter of 2021 (Q4 2021) saw wholesale trade expanding 5.1 per cent to RM169.7 billion, underpinning the wholesale and retail trade combined. Retail trade saw a 5.0 per cent growth to RM142.6 billion.

Quarterly motor vehicle sub-sector also grew 5.3 per cent to reach RM42 billion.

In another statement, Mohd Uzir said volume index of the wholesale and retail trade rebounded 1.4 per cent in Q4 2021, bringing the overall performance of this index for 2021 to 2.1 per cent.

The increase was attributed to motor vehicles sub-sector, which rose 3.7 per cent, followed by retail trade at 2.0 per cent. However, wholesale trade inched down marginally by 0.03 per cent in the period.

For quarter-on-quarter comparison, the volume index jumped 16.3 per cent, supported by motor vehicles which surged 136.9 per cent.

Compared to Q4 2019, the volume index expanded by 2.1 per cent.

“As for seasonally adjusted volume index, wholesale and retail trade soared 15.3 per cent as against Q3 2021.

“All sub-sectors recorded positive growth namely motor vehicles (137.1 per cent), retail trade (8.5 per cent) and wholesale trade (6.0 per cent),” he noted.

Mohd Uzir added that volume index of wholesale and retail ended 2021 with 124.1 points after a 2.1 per cent growth due to wholesale trade and retail trade, which grew 3.8 per cent and 3.4 per cent, respectively.

As for pre-pandemic comparison, the sector remained below 2019 figure with a negative 4.2 per cent, pulled down by motor vehicles sub-sector, which slipped 10.2 per cent. ― Bernama