Malaysian economy to grow 6-7.5% in 2021: central bank

[KUALA LUMPUR] Malaysia's economic growth will likely be in a range of 6 per cent to 7.5 per cent this year, rebounding from contraction last year, boosted by improving external demand and a pick-up in investment and production, the central bank said on Wednesday.

Gross domestic product will hit pre-Covid-19 levels by mid-year, though downside risk remains from the ongoing pandemic, Bank Negara Malaysia said in its annual report.

"The path of recovery will be gradual and uneven across economic sectors, and it may encounter speed bumps along the way," Governor Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus said in the report.

The central bank had earlier projected a growth range of 6.5 per cent to 7.5 per cent.

Malaysia's economy shrank 5.6 per cent in 2020, suffering its most acute full-year contraction since the Asian Financial Crisis in 1998.

The central bank said 2021 monetary policy will remain accommodative to support a sustained economic recovery post-pandemic.

It also said it planned to double down on digital economy initiatives, including licensing for digital banks and online payment services.



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