Malaysia’s sales value for the manufacturing sector grew by 3% in the fourth quarter of last year to RM366.4 billion, compared to the same quarter of the previous year.
This was despite fewer employees in the sector, coupled with a drop in salaries, statistics released by Putrajaya show.
Overall, last year, which saw a major impact on businesses and the economy following the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a 2.1% drop in sales value in the manufacturing sector to RM1,346.6 billion compared to the same period in 2019.
However, there was an upward trend by December, where manufacturing sales stood at RM124.6 billion, a 4.5% growth from the previous year.
The Department of Statistics, which released the figures today, said the rise in sales value was driven by the increase in transport equipment and other manufacture products (20.5%), food, beverages and tobacco (7.9%) and electrical and electronic products (4.2%).
The month of December 2020 also saw the employment rate inching up a little (0.1%), with 15.22 million registered as employed.
However, the fourth quarter of 2020 saw a slight increase in the number of unemployed people, from 745,000 in the previous quarter to 772,900.
Sectors such as wholesale and retail trade, health and social work, communications and information as well as education have seen an upward trend in employment.
Some 61.2% of the employed were males (9.27 million), while female workers numbered 5.89 million.
Meanwhile, the industrial production index (IPI), which measures output in the manufacturing, mining and power sectors, grew 1.7% in December 2020.
The growth was driven by manufacturing (4.1%), while mining and electricity dropped 5.4% and 0.2% respectively.