KUALA LUMPUR: The economy contracted by 6.2% in the first quarter (Q1) from the same period a year ago as a significant deterioration in external demand dragged the key manufacturing sector significantly lower.
Bank Negara Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said at a media briefing on Wednesday that “the deterioration was greater than expected” and that the exports outlook “remained weak”.
She added that Q2’s performance would likely be similar to the quarter under review.
According to the central bank’s report on the economy, all sectors experienced contractions year-on-year except for construction, which was boosted by spending through fiscal measures.
It added that the large inventory drawdown, particularly in manufacturing and commodity, also contributed to the decline in growth.
The manufacturing sector declined significantly by 17.6% led by a 23.1% contraction in export-oriented industries with the electrical and electronics subsector experiencing a steep 41.4% contraction.
The domestic-oriented industries also experienced a decline of 15.9% due to weakness in both consumer- and construction-related subsectors.
The central bank said the services sector was flat following a 0.1% decline due to the impact from subsectors closely linked to the manufacturing sector.
It added that the trade surplus remained large at RM32.7bil as the contraction in imports was larger than in exports due to the lower imports of intermediate and capital goods.
Even as a layman, the numbers are frightening. I think I will just stay at the sideline and monitor how things goes for the rest of the week. Thats almost the best I can do with my limited knowledge. The Public Mutual fund managers might jump into a suicide mission and squander my money before they recover. Go back to being Office Boys demmit.