Malaysia’s economy grows 5.1% in fourth quarter

The_Petronas_Twin_Towers_in_Kuala_Lumpur_(Malaysia)

Malaysia’s economy grew a solid 5.1 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year as exports picked up, the central bank announced on Wednesday, as economists said rising inflation remained manageable.

Southeast Asia’s third largest economy expanded 4.7 per cent for the full year, down from 5.6 per cent for 2012 but in line with the government’s forecast, Bank Negara said in a press release.

Fourth quarter growth was “supported by private sector demand and improvement in exports”, it said, adding growth was expected to stay on a “steady trajectory”.

Exports rose 2.4 per cent in 2013 year-on-year, picking up in the second half due to demand from Malaysia’s neighbours, as well as its largest trading partner China.

But following the government’s moves since September to cut fuel, sugar and other subsidies, which cost it billions and have led to a high debt, complaints of the rising cost of living have grown.

“While domestic demand is expected to moderate following the ongoing fiscal consolidation, the external sector is expected to benefit from the improving global conditions,” Bank Negara said.

Inflation stood at 3.2 per cent in December compared to the same month a year earlier. For all of last year it stood at 2.1 per cent compared to 2012.

Jeff Ng, a Singapore-based economist with Standard Chartered Bank, said inflation remained among the lowest in the region though it was expected to increase to 3.4 per cent this year.

“Cost is now an issue. But inflation still remains pretty manageable,” he told AFP.

Thousands protested in a rally on New Year’s eve against the price hikes.

Prime Minister Najib Razak, whose 57-year-long ruling coalition was re-elected in May with reduced support, has said cutting subsidies was “necessary” and low-income earners would continue to receive handouts to help them.

Malaysia has one of Asia’s highest debt-to-GDP ratios.

Malaysian critics say the government is mismanaging the economy and has failed in its pledge to fight endemic corruption.

 

 

 

Source : Channel News Asia | February 12, 2014

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Thomas D’Innocenzi is a highly accomplished, results-focused international consultant with extensive experience in global sourcing and business development worldwide to meet evolving business needs. Tom has proven ability in implementing and managing profitable global marketing and sourcing operations. He has extensive experience in international business development to accommodate rapid growth. Skilled in building top-performing teams, bench-marking performance, and developing organizations to improve efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Experienced transition leader and change agent. Tom founded Nova Advisors with the mission of providing expert Global Business Development consulting services for companies seeking to expand their market share as an independent consultant. Tom has a network of experts and advisors throughout the Asia-Pacific region and North America. His expertise includes business development, global sourcing, manufacturing, commodities, logistics, QA/QC, FDA, regulatory compliance, sustainability, and supply chain optimization. Tom is experienced in the medical device, apparel, consumer goods and technology services verticals helping companies advance their global sourcing capabilities and develop new markets through a local and sustained approach. Located in SE Asia and the United States, Tom expands market reach to drive sales. His global sourcing strategy includes directly negotiating with commodity suppliers, supply chain networks and distributors for optimal terms based on his expertise and first-hand knowledge of the players. Contact Tom to use his consulting service to increase your global market and make global sourcing profitable for you in the Asia Pacific Region and the United States. http://www.NovaAdvisors.com thomas@NovaAdvisors.com USA Direct: +1.904.479.3600 SINGAPORE: +65.6818.6396 THAILAND: +662.207.9269
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