Chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said this was despite challenging economic conditions ahead with the enforcement of the CMCO in Sabah, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya following the third wave of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
“These states contributed to 46.6 per cent of the economy in 2019; thus, any consequence on industrial activities within these areas will have an impact on the overall country’s economic performance,” he said in a statement today in conjunction with the publication of the latest Malaysian Economic Statistics Review (MESR) by DOSM.
According to Mohd Uzir, the report aims to provide users in public and private sectors with facts and insights on the latest economic scenario.
The report includes two articles titled “Preliminary Assessment of Underemployment Situation in Malaysia” and “Overview on Performance of Creative Industry in Malaysia.”
He said the COVID-19 pandemic had influenced business operations, which in turn impacted the overall labour situation in Malaysia.
“This was reflected by higher unemployment rates throughout the first half of 2020, with the highest recorded in May 2020 at 5.3 per cent.
“Subsequently, as more economic sectors continued to resume, the unemployment rate fell to 4.7 per cent in July and the rate remained (at 4.7 per cent) for August 2020,” he said, adding that DOSM was looking at the measurement of underemployment indicators to provide additional insights into the labour market.
Mohd Uzir said Malaysia recorded manufacturing sales of RM118.5 billion in August compared to RM119.2 billion in July of this year.
“The merchandise trade performance for both exports and imports declined 14.5 per cent and 2.2 per cent respectively from the month of July,” he said.
The sales value of the wholesale and retail trade continued to grow 2.5 per cent in August against the previous month, mainly driven by the growth in wholesale trade.
“This sector is gradually recovering on a year-on-year basis with narrowing negative growth which is expected to improve further in September.
“Based on the recent Leading Index, Malaysia is expected to continue the recovery phase by registering 108.5 points in August with an annual growth rate of 7.6 per cent,” he added.