Malaysia’s economy contracted in the whole year of 2020 at the fastest pace since the Asian financial crisis in 1998, data from the Bank Negara Malaysia showed on Thursday.
In 2020, gross domestic product was down 5.6 percent, in contrast to the 4.3 percent expansion posted in 2019. The latest decrease was the largest fall since 1998.
In the fourth quarter, GDP dropped 3.4 percent annually, after easing 2.6 percent in the third quarter. This was the third consecutive fall and bigger than the economists’ forecast of -3.1 percent.
Headline inflation declined to -1.5 percent partly due to the larger decline in retail fuel prices in the fourth quarter as compared to the corresponding period last year. Core inflation moderated to 0.8 percent due mainly to lower inflation for communication services and rental, the bank said.
The average headline inflation was at -1.2 percent in 2020 due mainly to the substantially lower global oil prices. For 2021, headline inflation is projected to average higher, reflecting higher global oil prices.
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