KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 9 — Local economic activities are expected to recover and rebound further in the second half of this year, even if the herd-immunity threshold from COVID-19 may not be reached by year-end.
Manulife Investment Management (M) Bhd head of retail wealth distribution Ng Chze How said Malaysia is forecast to be in a zone that the businesses would be picking up, more economic sectors reopening, as well as recording further recovery and rebound.
“There are many case studies, and even right now, I think many Malaysian policymakers know that they need to reopen many more sectors, as we need to live with the virus. We can’t (impose) lockdown for too long, as people are losing their rice bowls.
“The forecast for the second half has got a lot to do with the vaccination program and with the acceleration of vaccinations, I think the country could continue its economic recovery,” he told Bernama recently.
In terms of gross domestic product (GDP) growth, exports, and all economic indicators, he said they would also pick up towards the second half of the year.
Ng said many investors were currently setting sights on higher-yielding instruments which could provide higher income, as a fixed deposit rate of about 2.0 percent could not even beat the inflation.
“Our market is very well supported by the monetary policy and the lower interest rate environment (at the moment). The lending rate is also at a very low level, probably at around 3.5 percent currently,” he said.
In terms of vaccination progress, he said the country was now in the acceleration mode, with the vaccination being ramped up across the country following a steady stream of vaccine supplies.
“The schedule of vaccines is looking very good in the month of July and we are going into August and September. So the forecast is — before the end of this year, i.e. by the fourth quarter, we are in very good shape in terms of vaccination.
“With that projection, with more people receiving first and second doses, with the recovery and reopening, there is light at the end of the tunnel,” he added.