Mustapa: Economy on track for year-end recovery

PETALING JAYA: The nation’s economy remains on course for a strong year-end recovery despite a lower 4.5% growth projection by the World Bank, says Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed (pic).

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of economy said this would however depend on the success of the lockdown including rapid vaccination.

“If the government’s measures, including rapid vaccination and lockdowns, accompanied by strict SOP, are successful in reducing the number of Covid-19 cases, Malaysia can look forward to strong economic recovery in the fourth quarter of this year,” he said at the virtual launch of the World Bank’s latest Malaysia Economic Monitor (MEM) titled “Weathering the Surge” yesterday.

Mustapa was responding to MEM’s downgrade of its earlier 6% economic growth forecast for Malaysia to 4.5% in 2021.

The report acknowledged that the recent dramatic surge of Covid-19 cases in May this year and slow rollout of the vaccination due to supply issues had impacted the economy.

The government had projected a 6% to 7.5% economic growth for 2021 due to positive economic indicators earlier in the year.

Mustapa noted that the economy was on a solid recovery trajectory before May 2021, with an improved GDP growth in the first quarter.

“Unfortunately, the increase in Covid-19 cases and subsequent implementation of lockdown measures has had an impact on Malaysia’s economic recovery.

“A present, officials are crunching the numbers to assess the impact of the lockdown that began on June 1 on the Malaysian economy.”

On recovery efforts, Mustapa said rapid vaccination has been ramped up while the National Recovery Plan provides clear timeframes for the gradual opening of the economy.

“Recently, we have done a lot better in ramping up our vaccination rollout.

“The rate of vaccinations is of course critical in reducing the number of infections and in reviving the economy,” he added.

Mustapa also said that the government is in the final stages of fine-tuning the 12th Malaysia Plan.

“The plan will outline a number of fundamental reforms over the next five years to build back Malaysia from the pandemic,” he added.

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