Minister: Indicators show 5.5-6.5% GDP growth in 2022 can be achieved

KUALA LUMPUR: Positive indicators, including the declining jobless rate, have shown that national economic growth of 5.5-6.5% this year can be achieved, said Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz (pix).

Although still battling the pandemic, this would be the year of economic recovery, driven by the RM322 billion allocation in Budget 2022, the biggest budget in the country’s history, he said.

“Our focus is on the wellbeing of the people and building business and economic resiliency so that the country can be more prosperous,” Tengku Zafrul said on the “Inklusif Bersama Menteri Kewangan” programme on TV1 last night.

Among the positive indicators was the labour market, he noted, where the number of unemployed in November 2021 went down to 694,400 people compared to 705,000 in October 2021.

Tengku Zafrul said the Industrial Production Index increased 9.4% in November 2021 compared with the same month of the previous year, driven by the manufacturing, electrical, and mining sectors.

“Our November 2021 wholesale and retail trade sales growth also recorded the highest level at 7% year-on-year to RM118.1 billion, beating the previous month’s figure of RM116.2 billion.

“Overall, these indicators clearly show that economic growth can be achieved and that positive sentiment is returning,” he added.

In the first nine months of 2021, gross domestic product (GDP) grew 3% and the government has estimated that overall GDP growth for last year would be in the range of 3-4%.

Tengku Zafrul also told the programme that the allocation of the Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) MyRinggit-i Banjir personal financing facility has been increased from RM100 million to RM150 million.

He said the increased allocation was due to the positive response from affected borrowers.

“As announced previously by the Prime Minister, RM100 million was allocated to allow affected borrowers to loan up to RM10,000 with zero per cent interest and a six-month moratorium. – Bernama