KUALA LUMPUR (April 9): Wholesale and retail trade eased 0.9% to RM108 billion in February 2021 compared with the same period last year, said the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM).
Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin attributed the fall to the decline in retail trade, which contracted 2.1% or RM0.9 billion to RM44.3 billion.
In a statement today, he said the decline was due to the contraction in sales of non-essential products, namely retail sales in specialised stores (-6.6%), retail sales of household goods (-2.5%), and retail sales of cultural and recreation goods (-3.2%).
However, sales of essential goods posted positive growth, mainly due to the increase in retail sales in non-specialised stores, which grew 1.9% year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM15.8 billion, followed by the retail sales of food, beverages, and tobacco, which rose 6.2% y-o-y to RM2.8 billion.
"Retail trade not in stores, stalls or markets also expanded 9.3% y-o-y to RM0.4 billion, followed by retail sales via stalls and markets, which increased 6.1% y-o-y to RM0.1 billion," he said.
Meanwhile, wholesale trade decreased by RM0.03 billion or 0.1% to RM52.6 billion, mainly due to the 4.3% decline in other specialised wholesale index, as well as the 2% contraction in wholesale of agricultural raw materials and live animals and the 5.1% fall in wholesale on a fee or contract basis.
"However, wholesale of food, beverages, and tobacco grew 5.4% to RM10 billion, followed by wholesale of household goods (+3.4% to RM10.6 billion) and wholesale of machinery, equipment, and supplies (+2.5% to RM4.4 billion)," he said.
Mohd Uzir said the motor vehicles index also declined by RM0.01 billion or 0.1% to RM11.1 billion due to the 4.1% contraction in sales of motor vehicles parts and accessories, falling to RM2.8 billion.
"This was followed by maintenance and repair of motor vehicles, which went down 6.3% to RM1.5 billion, while sale, maintenance, and repair of motorcycles also recorded a decline of 1.9% to RM0.9 billion.
"On the other hand, sales of motor vehicles showed a positive growth of 3.8% to RM6 billion," he said.
Meanwhile, the online retail sales index — which portrays e-commerce activity — continued to surge to record 23.1% growth y-o-y.