KUALA LUMPUR: The Economy Ministry has cautioned that the country’s economy will be affected if the gross domestic product (GDP) growth continues to decline quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) amid the increasingly challenging global economic pressures, said its minister Mohd Rafizi Ramli (pix).

He said that although the economy recorded growth year-on-year, the GDP growth had declined for five consecutive quarters.

“Malaysia also needs to take into account the prospect of a slower expansion in the world economy this year, and if growth in the next quarter remains at a slower pace, then it will certainly have an impact on next year’s growth,“ he said during the winding up debate on the motion of thanks for the royal address for his ministry at the Dewan Rakyat today.

He also stressed that the government’s financial situation also had an impact, especially when the current debt level amounted to almost RM1.5 trillion.

In terms of the pandemic impact on GDP growth, Mohd Rafizi said the consecutive declines had never occurred even during the peak of Covid-19.

“During the Covid-19 pandemic, the first and second quarters recorded a decline, but it rebounded in the third quarter,“ he said in reply to a question from Datuk Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin (PN-Putrajaya).

Meanwhile, commenting on the people’s cost of living, Mohd Rafizi said the government would introduce the people’s income initiative this Sunday to reduce their burden.

“We hope that the price of ready-made meals for breakfast and lunch menus can be reduced further and we will work with the participants in this programme to provide more offers at much lower prices.

“That’s what we mean when the market, together with the government, collaborate to reduce prices without the need for subsidies, and this enables supply and demand to lower the price of ready-made meals for the people,“ he added. - Bernama