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Date [ 2014-06-17, 04:47 ]

Things are looking much brighter than expected for the country.

(Kuala Lumpur=Koreanpress) Ramani Rathir =Malaysia 1stQuarter 2014 Gross Domestic Producthas grown over last year’s figures and still going strong, reports Bank Negara.

The Highlights:

Malaysia’s economyregistered a strong growth of 6.2% in the first quarter of 2014 (4Q 2013: 5.1%), driven by a stronger expansion in domestic demand and a turnaround in net exports.

On the supply side, the major economic sectors grew further, supported by both domestic and trade activities.

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted basis, the economy grew by 0.8% (4Q 2013: 1.9%).

Private consumption growth remained strong at 7.1% (4Q 2013: 7.4%) in 1Q, supported by stable employment conditions and continued wage growth.

Growth in public consumption increased to 11.2% (4Q 2013: 5.2%), reflecting higher Government spending on supplies and services.

Gross fixed capital formation grew by 6.3% (4Q 2013: 6.5%), driven by robust private sector capital spending amidst a contraction in public investment growth.

The headline inflation rate, as measured by the annual change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) averaged 3.4% in the 1Q 2014, (4Q 2013: 3.0%). The increase was on account of higher inflation in the housing, electricity, water, gas and other fuels and transport categories.
The Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) was maintained at 3.0% during the 1Q 2014. At the prevailing level of OPR, monetary conditions remain supportive of economic activity.

Between April 1 and May 14 2014, the ringgit appreciated against the USD (1.4%), Euro (1.6%) and other currencies.

Bank Negara is expecting the growth for the Malaysian economy to remain anchored by domestic demand with support from the improvement in the external environment.

The recent 1Q 2014 GDP performance of 6.2% y-o-y is the fastest GDP growth recorded since 1Q 2013, driven by the stronger domestic demand and improvement in the export sector.

With the strong growth registered in the 1Q 2014 and if the momentum continues, it is very likely that the full year 2014 GDP can exceed Bank Negara’s 2014 GDP forecast of between 4.5% and 5.5%.

The stronger than expected GDP growth is likely to prompt Bank Negara to raise the OPR rate on the next meeting scheduled in July 2014 to soften the economic activities.

Already, the inflation rate which is on the rise of 3.4% currently (2013: 2.1%) may justify for Bank Negara to increase the OPR to cool down inflation.

The market is expecting the OPR to increase by 25 basis points to 50 basis points by end of the year which will push the OPR to hike till 3.50%. It is generally expected that the small hike in the OPR will not dampen economic growth from moving forward.

Malaysia is expected, together with the other ASEAN countries, to continue to play an important role for the region. It should position itself among the top economies of the region, especially come 2015 when ASEAN countries will be known as the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

Global economic activity expanded at a moderate pace in the first quarter.

The US economy experienced a slower growth, mainly due to unusually adverse weather conditions

In the Euro area, the recovery was supported by modest improvements in exports, while domestic demand remained sluggish due to structural constraints.

Growth in several Asian economies expanded at a slower pace as domestic demand was affected by developments in specific countries.


1Q2014 (%)
Malaysia        6.2
Indonesia      5.2
Singapore     5.1
Thailand        na

1Q2014 (%)   
US           2.3    
Japan     3.0    
Euro        0.9    

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