Friday January 04 2019
Malaysia Trade Surplus Smallest in 3 Months
Department of Statistics, Malaysia l Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Malaysia's trade surplus narrowed sharply to MYR 7.6 billion in November of 2018 from MYR 9.9 billion in the same month of the prior year and far below market expectations of a surplus of MYR 11.5 billion. It was the smallest trade surplus since August, as exports rose less than imports

Year-on-year, exports rose by 1.6 percent to MYR to MYR 84.8 billion in November 2018, after a 17.7 percent rise in October and far below market consensus of a 6.6 percent rise. Sales increased for: refined petroleum products (49 percent to MYR 6.5 billion); crude petroleum (3.4 percent to MYR 2.9 billion); liquefied natural gas/LNG (26.4 percent to MYR 4.6 billion). In contrast, outbound shipments fell for: palm oil and palm oil-based products (-18.6 percent to MYR 5.5 billion); electrical & electronic products (-1.7 percent to MYR 31.2 billion); timber and timber-based products (-7.0 percent to 2.0 billion), and natural rubber (-2.7 percent to MYR 304.8 million). Outbound shipments went up to China (3.9 percent); Singapore (7.1 percent) while sales to the US dropped 3.6 percent.
 
Imports increased 5 percent from a year earlier to MYR 77.2 billion in November 2018, missing market expectations of a 3.1 percent gain and after a 11.4 percent rise in a month earlier. Purchases of consumption goods recorded a 0.9 percent gain to MYR 6.6 billion, consisting of 8.6 percent of total imports. The increase was mainly attributed to non-durables (8.2 percent); food & beverages, processed, mainly for household consumption (2.9 percent), and durables (19.5percent). Also, imports of capital goods went up 0.4 percent to MYR 10.5 billion (13.6 percent share), due to a rise in transport equipment, industrial (168.2 percent) while imports of capital goods except transport equipment declined (-10.1 percent). On the other hand, purchases of intermediate goods fell 0.3 percent to MYR 40.2 billion, consisting of 52.1 percent share. The decrease was dragged by parts & accessories of transport equipment (-17.1 percent) while imports rose for: fuel & lubricants, processed, others (71.1 percent); and industrial supplies processed (5.7 percent).
 
Considering the first eleven months of the year, the trade surplus increased sharply to MYR 109.6 billion from MYR 91.1 billion in the same period 2017.




Wednesday December 19 2018
Malaysia November Inflation Rate at 3-Month Low of 0.2%
Department of Statistics, Malaysia l Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Malaysia's consumer price inflation slowed to 0.2 percent year-on-year in November of 2018 from 0.6 percent in the previous month and far below market expectations of 0.6 percent. It was the lowest inflation rate since August, due to a softer rise in cost of both food and housing and a slump in prices of transport. On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.2 percent, the same pace as in the preceding month and marking the fifth straight monthly increase.

Year-on-year, prices of food & non-alcoholic beverages increased by 1.1 percent, lower than a 1.2 percent rise in October, mainly due to a slower rise in prices of vegetables (0.8 percent vs 3 percent in October); fish & seafood (0.5 percent vs 0.8 percent) while  meat prices fell faster (-2.2 percent vs -0.3 percent). Also, cost rose softer for: housing, water, electricity, gas, & other fuels (2.0 vs 2.1 percent) while inflation was steady for restaurants and hotels (at 1.2 percent).
 
Additionally, prices dropped for transport (-2.3 percent vs 0.8 percent) while prices continued to fall for recreation services & culture (-0.3 percent vs -0.2 percent); health (-0.2 percent vs -0.2 percent); furnishings, household equipment & routine maintenance (-0.1 percent vs -0.3 percent); communication (-1.3 percent vs -1.6 percent); miscellaneous goods & services (-2.6 percent vs -2.8 percent); and clothing and footwear (-3.1 percent vs -3.1 percent).
 
On the other hand, prices went up faster for education (1.4 percent vs 1.1 percent) while prices of alcoholic beverages & tobacco rebounded (1 percent vs -0.8 percent).
 
Core consumer prices rose 0.5 percent year-on-year in November, compared to a 0.4 percent gain in a month earlier and hitting the third straight month of gain.
 
On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.2 percent, the same pace as in the preceding month and marking the fifth straight monthly increase.
 
 




Wednesday December 05 2018
Malaysia Posts Largest Trade Surplus in 21 Years
Department of Statistics, Malaysia l Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Malaysia's trade surplus widened sharply to MYR 16.3 billion in October of 2018 from MYR 10 billion in the same month of the prior year and far above market expectations of a surplus of MYR 12.5 billion. It was the largest trade surplus since October 1997, when trade balance posted a deficit MYR 0.15 billion, mainly due to a surge in exports.

Year-on-year, exports jumped by 17.7 percent to MYR to MYR 96.4 billion in October 2018, after a 6.7 percent rise in September and far above market consensus of a 6.2 percent rise. Sales increased for: electrical & electronic products (23.3 percent to MYR 38.4 billion, 39.8 percent of total exports); refined petroleum products (37.3 percent to MYR 6.7 billion, 6.9 percent share); crude petroleum (32.8 percent to MYR 3.8 billion, 3.9 percent share); liquefied natural gas/LNG (38.8 percent to MYR 4.1 billion, 4.2 percent share); and timber and timber-based products (6.6 percent to 2.2 billion, 2.2 percent share). In contrast, outbound shipments fell for: palm oil and palm oil-based products (-11.6 percent to MYR 6.2 billion, 6.4 percent of total share); and natural rubber (-2.8 percent to MYR 314.7 million, 0.3 percent of total share).
 
Outbound shipments went up to China (33 percent); Singapore (18.3 percent); and the US (7.6 percent).
 
Imports soared 11.4 percent from a year earlier to MYR 80.1 billion in October 2018, missing market expectations of a 2.8 percent gain and after a 2.7 percent drop in a month earlier. Purchases of intermediate goods rose 1 percent to MYR 39.3 billion, consisting of 49.1 percent of total imports. The increase was driven by parts & accessories of transport equipment (13.4 percent); fuel & lubricants, processed, others (32.7 percent); fuel & lubricants, primary (115.2 percent), and food and beverages, processed, mainly for industries (32.7 percent). Also, imports of consumption goods recorded a 8 percent gain to MYR 6.4 billion, consisting of 10.7 percent share. The increase was mainly attributed to non-durables (23.3 percent); food & beverages, processed, mainly for household consumption (7.3 percent) and durables (17.8 percent). On the other hand, imports of capital goods shrank 1.6 percent to MYR 9.4 billion, consisting of 11.8 percent share, due to a drop in capital goods except transport equipment (-3.4 percent) while imports of transport equipment, industrial rose (18.5 percent).
 
Considering the first ten months of the year, the trade surplus increased sharply to MYR 102 billion from MYR 81.2 billion in the same period 2017.
 
 
 
 


Friday November 23 2018
Malaysia Inflation Rate at 3-Month High of 0.6% in October
Statistics Malaysia l Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Malaysia's consumer price inflation rose to 0.6 percent year-on-year in October of 2018 from 0.3 percent in the previous month and matching market expectations. It was the highest inflation rate since July, due to a jump in prices of food and a faster rise in cost of transport while housing inflation was steady.

Year-on-year, prices of food & non-alcoholic beverages increased by 1.2 percent, much stronger than a 0.5 percent rise in September. It marked the highest food inflation in five months, mainly driven by prices of vegetables (3 percent vs -1.2 percent in September); fish & seafood (0.8 percent vs 0.4 percent); and food away from home (2.7 percent vs 2.6 percent).

Also, cost advanced faster for: restaurants and hotels (1.2 percent vs 1.1 percent); and transport (0.8 percent vs 0.3 percent), while inflation was steady for housing, water, electricity, gas, & other fuels (at 2.1 percent); and education (at 1.1 percent). Meantime, cost continued to fall for: recreation services & culture (-0.2 percent vs -0.2 percent); health (-0.2 percent vs -0.2 percent); furnishings, household equipment & routine maintenance (-0.3 percent vs -0.8 percent); alcoholic beverages & tobacco (-0.8 percent vs -0.9 percent); communication (-1.5 percent vs -1.6 percent); miscellaneous goods & services (-2.8 percent vs -3 percent); and clothing and footwear (-3.1 percent vs -3.2 percent).

Core consumer prices went up 0.4 percent year-on-year in October, compared to a 0.3 percent gain in a month earlier and hitting the second straight month of gain.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.2 percent, after a 0.4 percent rise in the preceding month and marking the fourth straight monthly increase.


Friday November 16 2018
Malaysia Q3 GDP Growth Weakest in 2 Years
Department of Statistics, Malaysia | Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

The Malaysian economy expanded 4.4 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2018, following a 4.5 percent expansion in the previous three-month period and below market consensus of 4.6 percent. It was the weakest growth rate since the third quarter of 2016, as net external demand contributed negatively to GDP growth, while investment, private consumption, and government spending continued to rise at a solid pace.

In the third quarter, exports went down by 0.8 percent, reversing a 2.0 percent rise in the June quarter. Imports edged up 0.1 percent, slowing from a 2.1 percent rise in the previous three months.
 
Private expenditure increased by 9.0 percent, following a 8.0 percent advance in the previous period, driven by higher consumption of food & beverages, communication, and transport and restaurants & hotels. Also, gross fixed capital formation grew 3.2 percent, faster than a 2.2 percent expansion in the preceding quarter, mainly due to a rise in machinery & equipment investment; and government spending went up 5.2 percent, faster than a 3.1 percent increase in the prior three months.
 
On the production side, growth slowed for construction (4.6 percent vs 4.7 percent in Q2). Additionally, the mining & quarrying sector contracted more than in a quarter earlier (-4.6 percent vs -2.2 percent) and the agriculture sector continued to shrink (-1.4 percent vs -2.5 percent). On the positive note, services output expanded by 7.2 percent, compared to a 6.5 percent growth in the second quarter and manufacturing output also grew faster (5.0 percent vs 4.9 percent). 

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted basis, the GDP advanced by 1.6 percent in the third quarter, the strongest grew since the third quarter of 2017.
  
Moving forward, economic growth is estimated to remain on a steady growth path in 2018, driven mainly by domestic demand amid the reprioritization of public sector expenditure. Meanwhile, a gradual recovery in commodity production will also provide support to GDP growth going into 2019.
 
Headline inflation is expected to rise mainly due to higher oil prices and following the impact of consumption tax policy in 2019.




Thursday November 08 2018
Malaysia Keeps Monetary Policy Steady
Central Bank of Malaysia l Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

The Central Bank of Malaysia kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 3.25 percent on November 8th, 2018, as widely expected. Policymakers said the economy maintains its underlying fundamental strength, with steady economic growth, low unemployment and a current account surplus. Private consumption will remain the main driver of growth, but the domestic economy continues to face downside risks stemming from any further escalation in trade tensions and prolonged weakness in the mining and agriculture sectors.

Statement by the Bank Negara Malaysia:

The global economic expansion continues, although with signs of moderating momentum. In the advanced economies, growth will continue to be mainly driven by positive labour market conditions and policy support. Growth in Asia will be supported by domestic activity amid weaker external demand. Risks to the global growth outlook remain tilted to the downside, with trade tensions continuing to be a key source of downside risk. Continued volatility in international financial markets and monetary policy normalisation in some advanced economies could lead to further capital outflows and financial market adjustments in emerging economies.

For the Malaysian economy, latest indicators point towards continued expansion in private sector activity. Private consumption will remain the main driver of growth, supported by conducive labour market conditions. Investment activity is projected to be sustained by continued capacity expansion in key sectors, driven by positive demand and efforts to enhance automation. Public sector spending, however, is likely to weigh on growth, amid continued reprioritisation of expenditure by the Government. The recent announcements by the Government have provided more clarity on fiscal and economic development policies. On the external front, exports are projected to provide an additional lift to growth, albeit to a lesser extent, due to moderating global growth momentum. The domestic economy continues to face downside risks stemming from any further escalation in trade tensions and prolonged weakness in the mining and agriculture sectors. Nevertheless, on balance, the Malaysian economy is expected to remain on a steady growth path in 2018 and 2019. 

The annual average headline inflation will be low in 2018. Moving into 2019, headline inflation is projected to increase primarily due to higher projected global oil prices and the floating of domestic fuel prices. While the impact of the consumption tax policy will contribute to higher headline inflation in 2019, it will lapse towards the end of 2019. Underlying inflation is expected to remain contained in the absence of strong demand pressures.

In line with regional economies, the domestic financial markets continue to experience non-resident portfolio outflows due to global developments. Nevertheless, the financial markets remain orderly with domestic monetary and financial conditions supportive of economic growth. The financial sector is sound, with financial institutions operating with strong capital and liquidity buffers. Importantly, the domestic economy maintains its underlying fundamental strength, with steady economic growth, low unemployment and surplus in the current account of the balance of payments. Bank Negara Malaysia’s monetary operations will continue to ensure sufficient liquidity to support the orderly functioning of money and foreign exchange markets and intermediation activity.
At the current level of the OPR, the degree of monetary accommodativeness is consistent with the intended policy stance. The MPC will continue to monitor and assess the balance of risks surrounding the outlook for domestic growth and inflation.




Monday November 05 2018
Malaysia Trade Surplus Largest in a Decade
Statistics Malaysia l Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Malaysia's trade surplus widened sharply to MYR 15.3 billion in September of 2018 from MYR 8.2 billion in the same month of the prior year and easily beating market expectations of a surplus of MYR 7.3 billion. It was the largest trade surplus since September 2008, as exports rebounded while imports shrank unexpectedly.

Year-on-year, exports rose by 6.7 percent to MYR to MYR 83.1 billion in September 2018, after a 0.3 percent fall in August and slightly above market consensus of a 6.5 percent rise. Sales increased for:  electrical & electronic products (6.5  percent to MYR 32.9 billion, 39.6 percent of total exports); refined petroleum products (20.5 percent to MYR 5.7 billion, 6.8 percent share); crude petroleum (54.5 percent to MYR 2.7 billion, 3.2 percent share); and liquefied natural gas/LNG (1.8 percent to MYR 3.1 billion, 3.8 percent share). In contrast, outbound shipments fell for: palm oil and palm oil-based products (-11.5 percent to MYR 5.6 billion; 6.7 percent of total share);  timber and timber-based products (-0.4 percent to 1.8 billion, 2.1 percent of total share); and natural rubber (-1.9 percent to MYR 306. million, 0.4 percent of total share).

Outbound shipments went up to Singapore (8.7 percent); the US (0.1 percent); and  Hong Kong (48.7 percent), while declined to China (-0.6 percent); and Japan (-10.6 percent).

Imports  fell unexpectedly by 2.7 percent from a year earlier to MYR 67.8 billion,  missing expectations of a 9.8 percent gain and after a 11.2 percent growth in a month earlier.  Purchases of intermediate goods dropped 9.3 percent to MYR 35.8 billion, consisting of 52.8 percent of total imports. The decrease was driven by parts & accessories of capital goods, except transport equipment (-24.1 percent); fuel & lubricants, processed, others (-44.8 percent); and fuel & lubricants, primary (-11.5 percent). Also, imports of capital goods shrank 25.2 percent to MYR 7.3 billion, consisting of 10.7 percent share, due to a drop in both transport equipment, industrial (-86 percent) and capital goods except transport equipment (-13.9 percent). In addition, purchases of consumption goods recorded a 10 percent drop to MYR 573.8 million, consisting of 7.6 percent share. The fall was mainly attributed to semi-durables (-31.4 percent); food & beverages, processed, mainly for household consumption (-6.2 percent) and durables (-12.7 percent).

Considering the first nine months of the year, the trade surplus increased to MYR 85.7 billion from MYR 71.2 billion in the same period 2017. 


Friday October 26 2018
Malaysia Inflation Rate Edges Higher to 0.3% in September
Statistics Malaysia l Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Malaysia's consumer price inflation inched up to 0.3 percent year-on-year in September of 2018 from a 3-1/2-year low of 0.2 percent in the previous month and below market expectations of 0.8 percent. Prices were slightly higher for food and housing & utilities.

Year-on-year, prices advanced faster for food & non-alcoholic beverages (0.5 percent vs 0.4 percent in August); housing, water, electricity, gas, & other fuels (2.1 percent vs  2 percent); and restaurants and hotels (1.1 percent vs 0.7 percent). In addition, cost fell at a softer pace for recreation services & culture (-0.2 percent vs -2.2 percent); communication (-1.6 percent vs -4.0 percent); furnishings, household equipment & routine maintenance (-0.8 percent vs -1.7 percent); and alcoholic beverages & tobacco (-0.9 percent vs -1.0 percent). On the other hand, prices slowed for transport (0.3 percent vs 2.1 percent) and continued to decline for miscellaneous goods & services (-3 percent, the same as in August)and clothing and footwear (-3.2 percent vs -2.9 percent). Also, cost of health dropped 0.2 percent, after a flat reading in a month earlier and inflation was steady for education (at 1.1 percent). 

Core consumer prices increased 0.3 percent year-on-year in September, compared to a 0.2 percent fall in August and reaching the first rise in three months.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.4 percent, after a 0.2 percent rise in the preceding month. It was the highest monthly figure since November 2017.


Friday October 05 2018
Malaysia Trade Surplus Smallest in Near 5-1/2 Years
Department of Statistics, Malaysia l Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Malaysia's trade surplus narrowed sharply to MYR 1.6 billion in August of 2018 from MYR 9.9 billion in the same month of the prior year and far below market estimates of a MYR 9 billion surplus. It is the smallest trade surplus since April 2013, as exports fell while imports surged.

In August sales fell by 0.3 percent from a year earlier to MYR 81.8 billion from a 9.4 percent gain in July and missing market consensus of a 5.7 percent growth. It was the first decline since February, as sales declined for: palm oil and palm oil-based products (-22.9 percent to MYR 5.1 billion; 6.2 percent of total exports); liquefied natural gas/LNG (-22.5 percent to MYR 3.2 billion, 3.9 percent of total exports); natural rubber (-10.5 percent to MYR 337 million, 0.4 percent of total exports), and timber and timber-based products (-2.4 percent to 2.0 billion, 2.4 percent of total exports). By contrast, sales rose for: electrical & electronic products (3.2 percent to MYR 32 billion, 39.2 percent of total exports); crude petroleum (64.9 percent to MYR 3.3 billion, 4 percent of total exports); refined petroleum products (5.4 percent to MYR 4.5 billion, 5.5 percent of total exports).
 
Sales shrank to the US (-2 percent); the EU (-8.9 pct) while went up to China (4.5 pct); Singapore (2.2 pct).
 
Imports surged 11.2 percent year-on-year to MYR 80.2 billion in August of 2018 from a 10.3 percent rise in the prior month, and beating market expectations of a 10.1 percent rise, as capital goods surged 25.3 percent to MYR 11.7 billion, mainly due to a rise in transport equipment, industrial (180.2 percent), and capital goods except transport equipment (13.1 percent). Also, imports of consumption goods increased 14.2 percent to MYR 7.1 billion), led by durables (57.9 percent); semi-durables (26.2 percent), and non-durables (6.3 percent). Additionally, purchases of intermediate goods rose 4.3 percent to MYR 45 billion, mainly due to an increase in parts and accessories of fuel lubricants, primary (126.4 percent), and parts and accessories of transport equipment (33.1 percent). 

In July the trade surplus stood at MYR 8.3 billion.
 
Considering the first eight months of the year, the trade surplus increased to MYR 70.4 billion from MYR 63 billion in the same period of 2017.


Wednesday September 19 2018
Malaysia Inflation Rate at 3-1/2 Year Low of 0.2% in August
Department of Statistics, Malaysia l Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Malaysia's consumer price inflation eased to 0.2 percent year-on-year in August of 2018 from 0.9 percent in the previous month and below market expectations of 0.4 percent.It is the lowest inflation rate since February 2015, as inflation slowed for both food and transport while housing inflation was steady.

Year-on-year, prices rose at a softer pace for food & non-alcoholic beverages (0.4 percent from 0.7 percent); transport (2.1 percent from 6.7 percent); restaurants and hotels (0.7 percent from 1.0 percent) while housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels prices were steady (at 2.0 percent). Additionally, prices fell for: communication (-4.0 percent from -3.9 percent); alcoholic beverages & tobacco (-1.0 percent from -0.8 percent); recreation services & culture (-2.2 percent from -2.4 percent); clothing and footwear (-2.9 percent from -3.0 percent); furnishings, household equipment & routine maintenance (-1.7 percent, the same pace as in July) and miscellaneous goods & services (-3.0 percent, the same pace in July).  

On the other hand, cost advanced faster for education (1.1 percent from 1.0 percent) while prices of health were flat, the same as in July. 

Annual core consumer prices decreased 0.2 percent year-on-year in August, the same pace as July, and marking the second straight month of deflation.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.2 percent, the same pace as in the prior month.