Economy set to strengthen in Q2, Budget 2023 to further boost resilience, says Tengku Zafrul

Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said that the economy is gradually improving and has started to expand based on various indicators for May 2022. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Saturday, 09 Jul 2022 2:42 PM MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, July 9 — The country’s economy is expected to continue to strengthen in the second quarter (Q2) of this year following the encouraging Gross Domestic Product growth of five percent in the first quarter, including the continued improvement in wholesale and retail trade , according to Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

He noted that the economy is gradually improving and has started to expand based on various indicators for May 2022.

To accelerate the recovery momentum, the Finance Ministry has kickstarted engagement sessions in an effort to establish measures that take into account the needs of various stakeholders, he said.

“Budget 2023 will emphasize structural reforms and boosting economic resilience. With its theme of ‘Strengthening Recovery, Facilitating Reforms Towards Sustainability of Economic Resilience and Well-Being of Keluarga Malaysia’, the government will continue to focus on the well-being of the people, businesses and economy,” he said in a statement today .

Based on the latest developments, he said, the country is set to achieve the forecast growth of 5.3-6.3 percent for 2022, in line with the projections made by the International Monetary Fund (5.75 percent growth) and World Bank (5.5 per cent).

Among the May 2022 indicators that point to the improvement in the country’s economy is the drop in the number of unemployed people to 637,700 from 649,300 in the preceding month, with the national unemployment rate remaining at 3.9 percent.

He also noted that the labor market recovery continued to stabilize in May 2022 in tandem with the higher demand for goods and services.

“This has also given more opportunities for businesses to generate revenue once more, as reflected by the recent retail and wholesale trade figures,” he said.

The finance minister also said that the Industrial Production Index for May was up by 4.1 percent year-on-year (year), driven by electrical and electronic products which have increased by 15.5 percent.

“This was in line with the manufacturing sales amounting to RM142 billion (in May), a 15.7 percent yoy increase,” Tengku Zafrul said.

The country’s trade performance has also remained resilient and maintained its growth momentum. Trade increased 33.6 per cent yoy to RM228.4 billion in May, the 16th month of double-digit growth (since February 2021), he noted.

Moreover, he said, May 2022 data showed wholesale and retail trade recorded the highest sales since 2013, growing 19.9 percent yoy to RM129.8 billion.

“This shows a recovery in domestic demand which continues to strengthen,” he added. – Bernama

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