Coronavirus: Germany, Malaysia industrial production recovering slowly

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Berlin, Aug. 7, 2020 (Xinhua/Naija247news) Industrial production in Germany, Europe’s largest economy, increased by 8.9 per cent in June compared to the previous month, according to provisional figures published by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) on Friday.

Also, Malaysian industrial production and manufacturing sales rose by 26.2 per cent and 30.4 per cent, respectively, in June compared to May, according to official data released.

After dropping by 17.5 per cent in April, German industrial production started month-on-month recovery in May, according to Destatis.

Nevertheless, it was still down by 11.7 per cent in June compared to the same month in 2019.

“After the interim spurt in the summer months, further recovery is likely to be much more difficult,” said Nils Jannsen, a Senior Researcher at the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, in a statement.

Production in Germany’s important automotive industry, which was particularly hit by the lockdown, continued to increase “markedly” by 54.7 per cent in June compared to the previous month, according to Destatis.

However, automotive production was still more than 20 per cent lower than in February, the month before restrictions were imposed in Germany due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a business survey by the ifo Institute published on Friday, the car industry in Germany planned “to expand production only slightly” in the coming months.

Similarly, Malaysia’s Chief Statistician Mohd Mahidin put the uptick down to “the government allowing more industries to resume operations from May 2020 onwards.”

Year-on-year manufacturing sales were up 4.1 per cent in June though industrial production showed little change compared to June 2019, the Statistics Department reported.

On May 4, Malaysia ended a seven-week lockdown imposed to try contain the novel coronavirus.

Many businesses were forced to close during the so-called Movement Control Order.

Rules were relaxed after the government warned the economy was losing hundreds of millions of ringgit, the local currency, per day.

The central bank also said that gross domestic product could shrink by 2.8 per cent in 2020 due to the coronavirus measures.

Some restrictions remain in place, with Malaysians mostly banned from leaving the country and visitors not allowed in.

Tourism generally makes up 10-15 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), depending on arrival numbers and spending.

Sectors depending on migrant labour, such as palm oil production and rubber-based manufacturing, have complained about staff shortages and diminished output due to the travel restrictions.

The Statistics Department reported that unemployment decreased by 0.4 per cent in June, down from the all-time high of 5.3 per cent unemployment recorded in May.

More people found jobs after the reopening of more economic sectors including education, social and religious activities, the department said.

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