Malaysian economy shrinks 17% in worst contraction on record

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia has reported its economy contracted 17% in the last quarter in its worst downturn since the global financial crisis.

The central bank said the real rate of annual growth was 16.5% in the April-June quarter, down from a 2% contraction in the first quarter of the year.

Business shutdowns, travel restrictions and other measures to help contain outbreaks of the new coronavirus took a heavy toll.

The central bank said, however, that key indicators such as exports, industrial output and consumer spending began to bounce back in May as pandemic-related restrictions were eased.

It is forecasting a contraction for the full year of minus 3.5% to minus 5.5%. It expects the economy to resume expansion in 2021, growing between 5.5% and 8%.

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