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Date [ 2015-03-12, 09:48 ]

Picking out dome of the key factors of the year past.

(Kuala Lumpur=Korean Press) Azmi Anuwar = For 2014, the Government indicated it would achieve a growth of 5.5 to 5.8%. But in the fourth quarter, the economy registered a higher growth of 5.8% driven mainly by stronger private sector spending.

The Economy

On the supply side, growth was sustained by the major economic sectors, supported by trade and domestic activities. This growth rate of 2% was instrumental in giving the Malaysian economy a grand total of 6%.

The country owes this high figure to domestic demand which remained the anchor of growth in the fourth quarter, mainly on account of the improvement in private sector activity.

Private investment expanded at a faster pace of 11.2% (3Q 2014: 6.8%), driven by capital spending in the manufacturing and services sectors.

Private consumption registered a stronger growth of 7.8% (3Q 2014: 6.7%), supported by a stable labour market conditions and continued wage growth.

Public consumption expanded at a more moderate pace of 2.7% in the fourth quarter (3Q 2014: 5.3%), due to slower growth in both emoluments and supplies and services.

Public investment, however, continued to decline, albeit at a slower pace of 2.1% (3Q 2014: -8.9%), following a smaller contraction in spending on fixed assets by the Federal Government.


On the supply side, growth in the fourth quarter was supported by major economic sectors. Growth in the services sector was underpinned by
expansion across all sub-sectors.

The construction sector remained strong, driven mainly by non-residential and residential sub-sectors, while the mining sector registered a strong growth due to higher crude oil production. However, the agriculture sector recorded a contraction due to lower palm oil production caused by the floods in the eastern states of Peninsular Malaysia.

Inflation Rate

The inflation rate, as measured by the annual change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), averaged lower at 2.8% in the fourth quarter (3Q 2014: 3.0%). This decline was mainly attributed to the lower inflation in the food and non-alcoholic beverages category (2.7%; 3Q 2014: 3.2%), reflecting the decline in the prices of fresh meat and fresh seafood during the quarter. But for the year as a whole, inflation averaged 3.2% (2013: 2.1%)

Summary

Malaysia’s economic growth of 6% for 2014 is within the range of the official forecast of between 5.5% and slightly better than the consensus estimates of 5.9%.

The commendable growth was contributed by the strong economic growth registered in the first and second quarter of 2014, of which the growth for the said period was at 6.2% and 6.5% respectively. It then moderated to 5.6% in the third quarter of 2014 as a result of weak domestic demand and uneven economic recovery across the globe especially in the Eurozone region and Japan.

Comparing Malaysia’s growth performance with its close neighbours of Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore, it is the leading country in ASEAN with GDP growth of 6%. This despite the uneven growth across the globe, especially in Europe and the Americas.

Country                                     4Q2014 (%)                              2014(%)
Malaysia                                       5.8                                               6.0
Indonesia                                     5.01                                              5.02
Singapore                                    2.1                                                  2.9
Thailand                                       2.3                                                 0.7

For this year, the global economy is expected to remain on a moderate growth path, but with increasing divergence in the growth momentum among the major economies.

The decline in energy prices, read that as oil, is expected to provide some additional support to overall global growth. This, with higher disposable income and lower inflation supporting consumer spending.

For 2915, the Malaysian economy is expected to remain on a steady growth path. This in part due to the gradual recovery in global growth, which is expected to support the manufactured export performance. However, overall export growth would likely remain modest amid lower commodity prices.

abc@koreanpress.net

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