On track for 2021 economic recovery, says finance minister

The country’s economy is likely to rebound next year, says Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz

BATU KAWAN: Malaysia’s economy is on the right track for recovery in 2021, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz said today.

He said based on the recent pick-up in economic performance, he was optimistic that the country’s economy would rebound next year.

“Of course, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund’s forecast for Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2021 is very strong, between 6% to 8%, but this is subject to how we (Malaysia) and the world address the Covid-19 health crisis.

“We are watching this closely, but I’m very optimistic after seeing the facts and figures that were presented before us, especially for June and July,” he told reporters here today.

He said the unemployment rate’s decline to 4.9% in June from a record-high of 5.3% in May bodes well for the country’s economy. In comparison, the unemployment rates rose in the Philippines (17.7%), India (11%), United States (11.1%) and China (5.7%).

“Most European countries also recorded double digit unemployment rates, but for us, it is still under control,” he said.

Commenting on Bank Negara Malaysia’s expected release of second quarter figures on Friday, Tengku Zafrul said he expects the results to be affected by the implementation of the movement control order.

“Having said that, we are not alone as Covid-19 is a global pandemic; more than 150 countries in the world will face an economic contraction in 2020,” he said.