Sabah’s economic performance fell by 9.5 pct in 2020

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KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s economic performance saw a further decline of 9.5 per cent in 2020 compared to the 0.7 per cent decrease recorded the previous year.

Sabah Statistics Director Zainol Jamil said that the drop was caused by the poor growth of each of the economic sectors in the state.

“Overall, Sabah contributed 5.8 percent to the Malaysian economy during the said year,” he told reporters in a virtual press conference on Sabah’s 2020 Socioeconomic Report here on Thursday.

Zainol revealed that the services sector recorded value added of RM36.5 billion in 2020, which saw a 7.4 decrease compared to the 5.4 drop recorded in 2019.

He further disclosed that wholesale and retail trade; accommodation and food and beverage sub-sectors; transport and storage; as well as real estate and business services sub-sectors had all contributed to the decline in the services sector.

“On top of that, Sabah had also experienced a significant decline in the tourism industry. Apart from the significant decline in the number of domestic tourists, the number of international tourist arrivals had also declined by 7.7 per cent in 2020,” he said.

Zainol added that the mining and quarrying sector saw a decrease of 13.5 per cent with value added registering a decline from RM22.7 billion to RM19.7 billion.

The said sector is the second largest contributor to Sabah’s economy after the services sector.

“The agriculture sector, which is the third largest contributor, recorded value added of RM12.8 billion.

“This decrease was caused by the decline in the crop sub-sector, particularly the production of oil palm commodities as well as the forestry and logging sub–sector,” said Zainol.

Meanwhile, the manufacturing sector saw a decline of 6.5 per cent, with value added amounting to RM6.1 billion.

According to Zainol, this was caused by the contraction in the manufacture of crude palm oil and refined palm oil for the vegetable and animal oils and fats sub-sector group.

“Value added in the construction sector saw a drop to RM2.2 billion from RM3.1 billion in the previous year. The sector recorded a double-digit decline to 29.1 per cent in 2020.

“The decline in this sector was caused by the poor growth of the civil engineering and non-residential buildings sub–sectors,” he said.

It is understood that, in 2020, Sabah had recorded a GDP Per Capita of RM21,484, which is below the national level (RM43,378).

“This GDP Per Capita also showed a decrease compared to 2019 (RM25,373),” said Zainol.