2020 The Year in Review | Industrial Malaysia

2020 The Year in Review

2020 The Year in Review

Coronavirus 2019 has certainly brought a new realm of economy to the society. With the old economy in the past and signs of traditional business closing down, many people lost their jobs. For example, the tourism industry is not doing well as many people could not travel overseas and construction projects are forced to put on hold. However on the other side, with the aid of technology, new industries emerge such as e-commerce. The advancement of technology and IT creates a different job market for the society, but not all people benefit from that. 

According to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on New York CNN (Business), the Covid-19 pandemic brought the economy to a sudden stop. While it has started its long road to recovery, the economy we knew is probably a thing of the past.

We are recovering, but to a different economy. The pandemic has increase existing trends in the economy and society, including the increasing use of automation, telework and technology. This would indirectly affect how people live and work.

Even though technological advancement would have a positive impact on society on a long-term basis, however on a short-term basis they create disruption, and as the market adjusts to the new normal the pain isn’t shared evenly. For example, those lower-paid workers, face-to-face, retail and restaurant workers would likely feel the pain the most. These groups, heavily focus on women and minorities, have already been among those most affected by the pandemic layoffs. Hence, the post-pandemic economy is also at risk of being productive: women have been forced to quit their job for childcare responsibilities at home, and children aren’t getting the education they deserve. All in all, inequality holds the economy back.

Even if there’s a reduction in the unemployment rate and a vaccine was found, there is most probably a group of workers who are going to need support as they are finding their way in the post-pandemic economy, as it is going to be a different economy in some ways.

Countries has spent trillions of dollars to boost the economy during the pandemic. But unemployed workers are still in a tough spot: some benefits have already reduced and more are set to expire at year-end. As the recovery continues, economists are hopeful that the next administration will pass another bill of stimulus to help the economy and workers.

More stimulus from the government and the central bank needs to be given to get through the crisis.

While the news of getting a vaccine is good, however many questions remain, including the resurgence of the virus around the world.

The main risk we see today is the further spread of the deadly virus in United Kingdom. UK have restarted their respective pandemic restriction to curb the disease. 

Looking at Malaysia’s context, the overall property market for Q3 2020 wasn’t good. According to the National Property Information Centre (NAPIC), the overall property market’s performance recorded a sharp decline in the 1st half of 2020 (1H2020), due to the Malaysian economic performance, which contracted by 17.1% in 2nd quarter of 2020 (Q22020). (Q12020 was 0.7%). NAPIC also recorded the value by subsector for Q3 2020 decreases for residential and commercial property market. Both value and volume of commercial properties such as offices see a decrease in percentage of 10% and 37.4% respectively compared to the past years.

However, on the bright side, the property market for industrial properties remains resilient in regards to the bad economy due to the growth of e-commerce, pharmaceutical and logistics sector.

Article Contributed by: Loo Yi Chen