LAST week saw the release of Malaysia’s GDP numbers for the second quarter (Q2) of 2021, with a seasonally adjusted quarter-on- quarter decrease of 2% compared with Q1. This sluggish performance isn’t a surprise of course, after the introduction of stringent lockdown measures in May and June, which undermined performance for the quarter.
On the back of these numbers, Bank Negara Malaysia revised its full-year GDP growth forecast down to a range of 3.0% to 4.0% from the previous range of 6.0% to 7.5%. The writing was already on the wall in April due to the failure to bring the Covid-19 pandemic under better control. Also as expected, the relief packages announced by the government weren’t able to offset the negative impact of the need to once again resort to lockdowns to manage the pressure on the healthcare system.