In a statement today, the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM) said the jump in online retail sales portrayed the expansion of e-commerce activities in the country.
Elaborating the decline of wholesale and retail trade’s sales value in April 2020, chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the steepest fall was recorded by motor vehicles segment which dipped 93.2 per cent, mostly due to a steep drop of 93.7 per cent in sales of motor vehicles.
“During the Movement Control Order (MCO) (that begin on March 18), car dealerships centres and showrooms were not allowed to operate, thus affected the sales of vehicles to customers,” he said.
Mohd Uzir said other industries in this sub-sector also suffered a significant drop in April 2020, notably sales of parts and accessories (-91.4 per cent), repair and maintenance (-93.6 per cent) and sales, repair and sales of parts and accessories of motorcycles (-94.9 per cent).
On the retail trade for April 2020, he said, sales fell 32.4 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y), as the implementation of MCO has resulted in negative growth in most of the retail activities.
On wholesale trade, sales also registered a 26.3 per cent decline y-o-y in April 2020, impacted by the disruption in the overall supply and demand chain, both domestically and globally due to COVID-19.
“However, industries related to food such as wholesale of food, beverages and tobacco, as well as wholesale of agricultural raw materials and live animals posted a marginal positive growth,” he added.
On month-on-month comparison, the wholesale and retail trade’s sales value in April 2020 contracted to 35.2 per cent, said Mohd Uzir.
In terms of volume index, he said wholesale and retail trade fell 38.6 per cent in April 2020 against the corresponding month of the previous year.
He pointed out that the decline was attributed by motor vehicles which registered a negative year-on-year growth of 93.6 per cent.
“Retail trade and wholesale trade volume index also posted negative growth of 36.0 per cent and 27.5 per cent respectively in April 2020,” he said.
As for seasonally adjusted volume index, the retail trade and wholesale trade volume index contracted to 33.6 per cent in April 2020 as compared to March 2020.
Moving forward, Mohd Uzir expected both sales and volume index of the retail trade and wholesale to see better performance due to the government’s partial lifting of the nationwide lockdown by allowing most economic sectors to return to full operation, under the conditional MCO started from May 4 to Aug 31, 2020.
“Sales is expected to rise due to the delayed purchase from April 2020, while the shift in consumer behaviour towards digitalised and more convenient method of purchasing and payment will likely to continue and will act as a catalyst for rapid growth in retail sales,” he said.