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Malaysia’s Economy Shrinks Most Since 1998 Asia Crisis

  • Central bank downgrades 2020 GDP forecast to -3.5% to -5.5%
  • Governor says she’s ‘cautiously optimistic’ worst has passed
Shoppers use hand sanitizer as a vendor checks a customer's temperature outside a store  in Kuala Lumpur on May 20.

Shoppers use hand sanitizer as a vendor checks a customer's temperature outside a store  in Kuala Lumpur on May 20.

Photographer: Ian Teh/Bloomberg
Updated on

Malaysia’s economy contracted by the most since the Asian financial crisis more than two decades ago, with the central bank sharply downgrading its outlook for this year.

Gross domestic product shrank 17.1% in the second quarter compared to a year earlier, its worst showing since the fourth quarter of 1998, the central bank said Friday. That compared to the median forecast of a 10.9% contraction in a Bloomberg survey of economists.