KUALA LUMPUR (July 7): Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) cut its overnight policy rate (OPR) by 25 basis points (bps) today to a record low of 1.75%, saying that the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the global economy is severe and that Malaysia’s economic activity contracted sharply in the second quarter of the year due to measures introduced to contain the pandemic.
In a statement today, the central bank said Malaysia’s inflationary pressures are expected to be muted in 2020.
"The impact of Covid-19 on the global economy is severe. Global economic conditions remain weak with global growth projected to be negative for the year. For Malaysia, economic activity contracted sharply in the second quarter of the year, due to measures introduced to contain the pandemic globally and domestically.
"Following the gradual and progressive re-opening of the economy since early May, economic activities have begun to recover from the trough in the second quarter. The fiscal stimulus packages, alongside monetary and financial measures, will continue to underpin the improving economic outlook.
"The projected improvement in the domestic economy is expected to be further supported by a gradual recovery in global growth conditions. The pace and strength of the recovery, however, remain subject to downside risks emanating from both domestic and external factors. These include the prospect of further outbreaks of the pandemic leading to re-impositions of containment measures, more persistent weakness in labour market conditions, and a weaker-than-expected recovery in global growth,” it said.
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