Source: Statistics Department
Hey, let’s do the limbo rock
Limbo lower now
Limbo lower now
How low can you go
Reality has just smacked us in the face.
GDP fell by 6.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2009 compared to the same period last year. (In the last quarter of 2008, GDP grew by 0.1 per cent, year on year.)
This is the first time we are in negative territory since 2001 and it’s the worst performance since the Asian economic crisis.
Manufacturing fell a staggering 17.6 per cent, largely due to our unwise over-dependence on FDI-driven economic growth, especially in the electronics sector.
The electronics and electrical manufacturing sector contracted by a whopping 27.3 per cent.
Overall exports and imports dropped by 15.2 per cent and 23.5 per cent respectively. The drop in imports is significant, as they were mainly in capital and intermediate goods, reflecting possible lower future investment in manufacturing.
Many are now talking up the prospect of a recovery in the second half of 2009, but it is more likely that the economy will be listless for the next couple of years or so because of our dependence on export demand. Remember, the biggest consumers, the Americans, are in bad shape.
Time to look at more sustainable development, don’t you think? Why not look at boosting food self-sufficiency and spurring small localised economic activity, rather than always going for the big projects and multi-billion ringgit investments aimed at the export market?
Put differently, we need to look at sustainable production by the masses for the masses to meet local needs rather than mass production by a few (big-time investors) for the export market.
By the way, don’t you think Abdullah Badawi was smart to hand over the finance portfolio to Najib when he did? He probably could see this coming!