Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz says Budget 2023 will focus on implementing structural reforms and boosting economic resilience. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, July 9, 2022.

THE country’s economy is expected to continue to strengthen in the second quarter (Q2) of this year following the encouraging 5% GDP growth in the first quarter, said Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

The finance minister said this included continued improvement in wholesale and retail trade, based on various indicators for May 2022.

To accelerate the recovery momentum, the Finance Ministry had kick-started engagement sessions in an effort to establish measures that took into account the needs of various stakeholders, he said.

“Budget 2023 will emphasise structural reforms and boosting economic resilience. With its theme ‘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 the economy,” Tengku Zafrul 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% for 2022, in line with the projections made by the International Monetary Fund (5.75% growth) and World Bank (5.5%).

Among the May 2022 indicators that point to 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%.




He added that the labour market recovery continued to stabilise in May 2022 in tandem with a higher demand for goods and services.

“This has once more given more opportunities for businesses to generate revenue, 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% year-on-year (y-o-y), driven by electrical and electronic products which have increased by 15.5%.

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

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

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

“This shows a recovery in domestic demand which continues to strengthen,” he added. – Bernama, July 9, 2022.

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