Malaysia's GDP growth rate may reach 2.5-3 percent in 2020 (Source: themalaysianreserve)

Although it is a drastic reduction of pre-pandemic forecasts and the lowest since 2009, the projection runs counter to several recent predictions that the Malaysian economy would actually shrink by up to 1.0 percent.

Vice Chairman of the committee Mazli Noor said that the 0.7 percent GDP growth registered in the first quarter is reflective of the country’s resilience in the context of the ongoing pandemic.

The relatively modest performance for the first quarter of 2020 is supported by the services and manufacturing sectors, which grew 3.1 percent and 1.5 percent respectively, with other sectors experiencing varying degrees of deficits.

He said that services, manufacturing and construction will play a major role in the nation’s growth. Supported by the government's Prihatin Economic Stimulus Package that was announced earlier, the committee is projecting a 5.0 percent to 5.5 percent growth in the services sector this year, with manufacturing coming in at around 3.0 percent and construction contributing an estimated 1.0 percent to the nation’s economic growth.

The recently announced conditional movement control order (CMCO), which allows for a more flexible and deliberate reopening of the economic sector, also provides much-needed room for economic activities to resume, he added.

The committee agrees with analyst projections of a full economic and value chain recovery by the second half of 2020, with the construction sector - particularly that involving government public infrastructures - being allowed to return to full speed./.

CPV/VNA