Malaysia's GDP up 4.9pc in Q2 on the back of strong domestic demand

MALAYSIA's gross domestic product increased by 4

23 August 2019 - 19:00

MALAYSIA's gross domestic product increased by 4.9 per cent in the second quarter compared to the same period last year, on the back of strong domestic demand and a rebound in commodity prices.

The second quarter expansion in GDP marked the strongest growth since early 2018 and surpassed economists' median estimate of 4.7 per cent.

Bank Negara Malaysia governor Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus said the central bank expects full-year GDP growth of 4.3 to 4.8 per cent, reported Bloomberg.

Malaysia's strong showing bucks the trend across the region, where the US-China trade war has left trade-reliant economies reeling. Neighbouring Singapore has severed its full-year growth forecast to almost zero, and Thailand is anticipated to roll out a stimulus package shortly.

On top of commodities strength, Malaysia's manufacturing sector has also proven resilient after expanding by 4.3 per cent. All sectors expanded in the quarter but private consumption 'remained as the main anchor to the economy', growing 7.8 per cent, according to chief statistician Mohd Uzir Mahidin at the nation's Department of Statistics. Net exports grew 22.9 per cent and services gained 6.1 per cent.

According to economist Brian Tan at Barclays Bank Plc in Singapore, the question is how long Malaysia can dodge the headwinds.

'Our base scenario is that this is likely the peak for growth this year and we'll see a slowdown in the second half,' Mr Tan was quoted as saying. 'Headwinds from the trade war will grow ever harder, and on an aggregate level it won't benefit anyone, not even Malaysia.'


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