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Bank Negara Malaysia has decided on the OPR. Are you happy?

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The below would be the announcement from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) on the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR).

Briefly, BNM has confidence that recovery of the economy is still on track even if we are currently in 3rd wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. They have seen indicators from the economic activities and it is also taking into account the uneven global economic recovery too. Generally, there has been significant improvement in economic activity in Q3 2020. Expectations are that 2021 GDP growth will be stronger. Do read the full announcement as below:

bank negara malaysia
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

— Announcement from BNM —

At its meeting today, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of Bank Negara Malaysia decided to maintain the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) at 1.75 percent.

The global economy continues to recover, led by improvements in manufacturing and export activity. Latest indicators show that economic activity picked up in most advanced and regional economies, with a more pronounced recovery momentum in PR China. However, recent resurgences in COVID-19 cases have caused some major economies to re-introduce containment measures, although generally less restrictive than earlier measures. This suggests that the global economic recovery will likely remain uneven in the near-term. Financial conditions have improved, although risk aversion remains elevated. The overall outlook remains subject to downside risks, primarily due to the risk of further resurgence of COVID-19 infections which could lead to weaker business, employment and income conditions.

For Malaysia, the latest indicators point towards significant improvement in economic activity in the third quarter. The introduction of targeted measures to contain COVID-19 in several states could affect the momentum of the recovery in the fourth quarter. Nonetheless, growth for the year 2020 is expected to be within the earlier forecasted range. For 2021, economic activity is projected to improve further. This will be underpinned by the recovery in global demand, turnaround in public and private sector expenditure amid continued support from policy measures, and higher production from existing and new facilities. Nevertheless, the pace of recovery will be uneven across sectors, with economic activity in some industries remaining below pre-pandemic levels, and a slower improvement in the labour market. Downside risks to the outlook remain, stemming mainly from ongoing uncertainties surrounding the pandemic globally and domestically.

In line with earlier assessments, headline inflation is likely to average negative this year given the substantially lower global oil prices. For 2021, headline inflation is projected to average higher. The outlook, however, will continue to be significantly affected by global oil and commodity prices. Underlying inflation is expected to remain subdued in 2021 amid continued spare capacity in the economy.

The MPC considers the stance of monetary policy to be appropriate and accommodative. The cumulative 125 basis points reduction in the OPR this year will continue to provide stimulus to the economy. The MPC will continue to assess evolving conditions and their implications on the overall outlook for inflation and domestic growth. The Bank remains committed to utilise its policy levers as appropriate to create enabling conditions for a sustainable economic recovery.

The meeting also approved the schedule of MPC meetings for 2021. In accordance with the Central Bank of Malaysia Act 2009, the MPC will convene six times during the year. The meetings will be held over two days, with the Monetary Policy Statement released at 3 p.m. on the second day of the MPC meeting.

Schedule of Monetary Policy Committee Meetings for 2021

MPC Meeting NoDates
1st19 and 20 January 2021 (Tuesday and Wednesday)
2nd3 and 4 March 2021 (Wednesday and Thursday)
3rd5 and 6 May 2021 (Wednesday and Thursday)
4th7 and 8 July 2021 (Wednesday and Thursday)
5th8 and 9 September 2021 (Wednesday and Thursday)
6th2 and 3 November 2021 (Tuesday and Wednesday)

Bank Negara Malaysia
03 Nov 2020

Article Source: Bank Negara Malaysia

— end of announcement —

Let’s just see this from the positive side. Economy is moving ahead. The speed of recovery depends also on the world economy. One significant contribution will be realised if we restart the tourism engine in the near future. For now, perhaps the most important thing is to ensure businesses are still surviving and people continue to have their jobs which will then give them salary. The unemployment rate is still higher than what we are used to but it’s also on a downtrend. Happy understanding.

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