October’s positive key indicators signals economic recovery
24 Dec 2021
The uptrend in most key indicators in October signifies steady economic recovery, driven by the strong growth in total trade (26.5 per cent), said the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM).
Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said Malaysia’s economy picked up in the first nine-month of 2021 (9M2021) with a positive growth of three per cent, compared to -6.4 per cent in 9M2020.
“As such, an optimistic economic outlook is anticipated in 2022, with the Asian Development Bank projecting that Asian developing economies will expand by 5.4 per cent.
“Similarly, Malaysia is expecting the gross domestic product to expand between 3.0 per cent and 4.0 per cent this year and expand between 5.5 per cent and 6.5 per cent in 2022,” he said in a statement today.
Elaborating further on the latest economic scenario, he noted in October 2021, several key economic indicators continued to show positive trends.
“Exports increased 25.5 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM114.4 billion and imports grew 27.9 per cent y-o-y to RM88.2 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of 17.9 per cent,” he said.
Mohd Uzir noted that the Industrial Production Index (IPI) increased 5.5 per cent y-o-y, driven by the 8.0 per cent increase in the Manufacturing index and 4.1 per cent rise in the Electricity index.
Malaysia’s manufacturing sales surged 15.3 per cent in October 2021, mainly supported by petroleum, chemical, rubber and plastic products.
Meanwhile, wholesale and retail sales rose 5.4 per cent y-o-y — the first increase since the implementation of the Full Movement Control Order (FMCO) in June 2021– fuelled by the wholesale trade subsector which recorded a positive growth of 4.4 per cent (RM2.4 billion) to RM55.8 billion during the month.
Additionally, retail trade increased 5.1 per cent y-o-y, while motor vehicles rebounded 10.2 per cent y-o-y.
On the labour market, he said the labour force situation remained stable, as indicated by the increase in the number of employments during the month, while the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since April 2020.
He said the labour force expanded by 1.9 per cent to 16.26 million persons (October 2020: 15.96 million persons), thus boosting the labour force participation rate to 68.5 per cent.
The employment-to-population ratio increased by 0.5 percentage points to 65.8 per cent in October 2021, while the unemployment rate declined 0.4 percentage points to 4.3 per cent (October 2020: 4.7 per cent), he noted.
In terms of prices, Mohd Uzir said the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in October 2021 grew by 2.9 per cent y-o-y to 123.7 from 120.2 previously.
The Producer Price Index (PPI) local production increased by a double-digit percentage for the seventh consecutive month at 13.2 per cent, mainly contributed by the mining index, he said.
The chief statistician said Malaysia’s economy is projected to improve in the near future in line with the global economic recovery trajectory, as indicated by the Leading Index (LI) which increased 0.3 per cent y-o-y in October 2021.
“Simultaneously, the favourable LI performance indicates a more optimistic prospect for the upcoming months, if the gradual normalisation of economic activity continues in tandem with the easing of the interstate travels,” he added.