KUALA LUMPUR: S&P Global Ratings has lowered its growth forecast for Malaysia to 3.2% in 2021 from 4.1% earlier.
“Strong international trade is providing a sizable buffer for growth this year. However, domestic demand is looking much weaker.
“Lockdowns to manage the ongoing pandemic wave have now been in place for around three months.
“The deeper downturn has cut activity in the services sector and is resulting in sizable job-losses-–in June the unemployment rate jumped to 4.8% from 4.5% in May,” S&P said in a statement Thursday.
The rating agency said Malaysia now has a relatively high vaccination coverage, with about 52% of the population having received at least one dose.
It added that this would enable a gradual re-opening of the economy over the next several months.
S&P expects Malaysia’s gross domestic product to grow 6% in 2022, 5.2% in 2023 and 4.6% in 2024.