Malaysia’s economic growth to hover at 5.2-5.9pc in 2021, says Ambank Research

People buying groceries at the SS15 wet market in Kuala Lumpur January 13, 2021. AmBank Research said as expected, the GDP performed worse in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2020 than in the previous quarter, impacted by the rise in the number of the pandemic cases and restrictive measures imposed to contain the spread of the virus. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
People buying groceries at the SS15 wet market in Kuala Lumpur January 13, 2021. AmBank Research said as expected, the GDP performed worse in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2020 than in the previous quarter, impacted by the rise in the number of the pandemic cases and restrictive measures imposed to contain the spread of the virus. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 15 — The Malaysian economy is expected to recover in 2021, with growth likely to hover at 5.2 per cent to 5.9 per cent supported by improving global gross domestic product and trade, stimulus measures, the Covid-19 pandemic’s containment and deployment of vaccines, AmBank Research said.

It said the overall investments, as well as the major economic sectors, were expected to improve.

“Thus capital expenditure expansion will take place in 2021. However, the upside to 2021 growth will be dampened by the rise in Covid-19 cases and restrictive measures imposed in January,” it said in note today.

The research house noted that the effect, to be felt in the first quarter of 2021, would be less impactful compared to the April 2020 restrictive measures.

“Still, we remain concerned over the micro, small and mid-sized businesses. On that note, for the full year of 2021, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is likely to hover around 5.2 per cent to 5.9 per cent in 2021.

AmBank Research said as expected, the GDP performed worse in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2020 than in the previous quarter, impacted by the rise in the number of the pandemic cases and restrictive measures imposed to contain the spread of the virus.

The Q4 GDP’s contraction of 3.4 per cent year-on-year was, however, within the research house’s expectations of between -3.2 per cent and -3.5 per cent following a revised -2.6 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) in Q3 2020.

“With three consecutive quarters of negative growth and the largest being in Q2 2020 at -17.1 per cent y-o-y, the full-year GDP shrank by 5.6 per cent, which is marginally higher than our -5.5 per cent (forecast),” it said.

It was the biggest contraction since the -7.4 per cent reported during the Asian financial crisis in 1998.

In addition, the nominal GDP fell by 6.3 per cent due to the deflationary impact. — Bernama

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