Last week, the Department of Statistics released data showing that Malaysia’s economic output (known as “real GDP”) was RM131.3 bil in the last quarter of 2008.
This was a sharp drop of 3.6% when compared to the third quarter of 2008 (whose GDP was RM136.2 bil). It was also only 0.1% higher than the RM131.2 bil in the last quarter of 2007.
The “real GDP” measures the volume of goods and services produced. The economy’s performance can also be measured by the current value of production, which also takes into account changes in prices, and is thus a better measure of the current income of households and companies.
Here, the fall in the economy is even more pronounced. The current GDP fell by 11% between the third and the fourth quarters of 2008 (from RM199 bil to RM177 bil).
All the sectors have been hit, in terms of deceleration of growth between the third and fourth quarter of last year. The real GDP in manufacturing fell 12% from RM40.3 bil to RM35.3 bil, while agriculture fell from RM10.8 to 9.9 bil and construction from RM4 to 3.9 bil. There was only a very slight growth from RM74 to $75 bil in the services sector.