Friday May 19 2017
Malaysia GDP Growth Strongest In 2 Years In Q1
Department Statistics of Malaysia | Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Malaysian economy expanded 5.6 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2017, compared to a 4.5 percent growth in the previous three months and above market expectations of 4.8 percent. It was the strongest expansion since the March quarter 2015, as private consumption, investment and exports rose at faster paces and government spending rebounded.

In the March quarter, private consumption grew by 6.6 percent year-on-year, faster than a 6.2 percent rise in the previous quarter. Gross fixed capital formation gained 10 percent, compared to a 2.4 percent expansion in the preceding quarter. Exports rose 9.8 percent from  a 1.3 percent rise in the December quarter. Imports also went up 12.9 percent, compared to a 1.6 percent rise in the previous three months. Goverment spending rose 7.5 percent, rebounding from a 4.2 percent decline in the prior three months.

On the production side, the agriculture sector rebounded (8.3 percent), after contracting 2.5 percent in the December quarter, due to a double-digit growth in palm oil (17.7 percent from -7.2 percent in Q4). Construction sector grew by 6.5 percent (from 5.1 percent in Q4). Also, services sector went up at a faster 5.8 percent from 5.5 percent in the preceding three months, supported primarily by consumption and business related services; manufacturing (5.6 percent from 4.7 percent)  while mining sector increased at a slower pace (1.6 percent from 4.9 percent).

Moving forward, the Malaysian economy is expected to be supported by domestic demand. The economy is on track to register higher growth in 2017, compared to a 4.2 percent expansion in 2016. Exports are expected to benefit from the improvement in global growth. Regarding inflation, it is expected to moderate from the second quarter after increasing in the first quarter.

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted basis, the economy grew by 1.8 percent, faster than a downwardly revised 1.3 percent growth in the previous period. It was the fastest quarterly expansion since the third quarter 2013. 




Wednesday May 17 2017
Malaysia Inflation Rate At 3-Month Low Of 4.4% In April
Department of Statistics Malaysia l Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Malaysia rose 4.4 percent year-on-year in April of 2017, compared to a 5.1 percent increase in March and below markets expectations of a 4.5 percent rise. It was the lowest inflation rate since January 2017, mainly due to a marked slowdown in cost of transport while food inflation was steady.

Year-on-year, upward prices pressure came from: food & non-alcoholic beverages (4.1 percent from 4.1 percent in March); alcoholic beverages & tobacco (0.2 percent from 0.2 percent); housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels (2.2 percent from 2.1 percent); furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance (1.9 percent from 1.5 percent), health (2.8 percent from 2.6 percent), transport (16.7 percent from 23.0 percent), recreation services & culture (3.0 percent from 3.0 percent), education (1.7 percent from 1.7 percent), restaurants & hotels (2.4 percent from 2.3 percent) and miscellaneous goods & services (1.5 percent from 1.3 percent). In contrast, downward prices pressure came from: clothing and footwear (-0.1 percent from -0.2 percent) and communication (-0.3 percent from -0.2 percent).
 
Among food & non-alcoholic beverages, customers had to pay more for most categories: food (4.4 percent from 4.3 percent); food at home (4.0 percent from 4.1 percent); rice, bread & other cereals (0.8 percent from 0.7 percent); meat (4.2 percent from 3.7 percent); fish & seafood (6.2 percent from 5.2 percent); oils & fats (39.1 percent from 38.8 percent), fruits (2.4 percent from 3.7 percent); vegetables (2.3 percent from 4.8 percent); sugar, jam, honey, chocolate & confectionary (1.5 percent from 1.5 percent); food products (4.7 percent from 5.0 percent), food away from home (4.9 percent from 4.4 percent). Meanwhile, prices of coffee, tea, cocoa & non-alcoholic beverages fell 0.4 percent (from -0.4 percent), and milk & eggs (-1.1 percent from -0.4 percent).
 
Core consumer prices went up 2.3 percent year-on-year, after increasing by 2.5 percent in the prior month.
 
On a monthly basis, consumer prices decreased by 0.3 percent in April, following a 0.1 percent fall in a month earlier and the second straight month drop since September 2016. Prices fell for: transport (-1.9 percent) and communication (-0.1 percent). In contrast, cost went up for food & non-alcoholic beverages & tobacco ( 0.1 percent); clothing and footwear (0.2 percent); furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance ( 0.4 percent), health (0.2 percent), restaurants & hotels ( 0.2 percent);  miscellaneous goods and services (0.2 percent), and education (0.1 percent). Cost were flat for housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels; recreation services & culture, and alcoholic beverages & tobacco .
 




Friday May 12 2017
Malaysia Keeps Rates Steady At 3%
Bank Negara Malaysia | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

The central bank of Malaysia left its benchmark overnight policy rate unchanged at 3 percent on May 12th 2017 as widely expected. Policymakers see growth momentum to strengthen in the first quarter of 2017 and to be sustained for the rest of the year while inflation will likely moderate in the second half of 2017.

Statement by the Bank Negara Malaysia:

The global economy continues to expand. Industrial activity and global trade have picked up. Growth is also becoming more synchronised across the advanced and emerging economies. Indicators suggest that the outlook for the global economy will continue to improve. In the advanced economies, the revival in investment is expected to provide additional impetus to economic activity. In the emerging economies, growth is projected to be supported by sustained domestic activity and stronger external demand. Nevertheless, there remain risks to global growth arising from threats such as protectionism, geopolitical developments, and commodity price volatility. These risks could also reignite financial market volatility.

For Malaysia, the growth momentum since the second half of 2016 is expected to strengthen in the first quarter of 2017, and to be sustained for the rest of the year. Growth will be mainly driven by domestic demand amid continued wage and employment growth, and the implementation of new and on-going investment projects. On the external front, given the improvement in global growth, exports are expected to perform more strongly and contribute positively to Malaysia’s economic performance.

Headline inflation increased to 4.3% in the first quarter of the year, in line with the MPC’s expectations. The increase in inflation reflected mainly the pass-through impact of higher global oil prices and temporary supply disruptions that led to higher food prices. The higher headline inflation is expected to moderate in the second half of the year. However, the trend of domestic headline inflation will be dependent on future global oil prices which remain highly uncertain. The cost-push inflation is not expected to have a significant impact on the broader price trends given the stable domestic demand conditions. Underlying inflation, as measured by core inflation, is expected to increase only modestly.

The ringgit has continued to stabilise. Banking system liquidity remains sufficient. Financial institutions continue to operate with strong capital and liquidity buffers and the growth of financing to the private sector is consistent with the pace of economic activity.

At the current level of the OPR, the stance of monetary policy is accommodative and supportive of economic activity. The MPC will continue to assess the balance of risks surrounding the outlook for domestic growth and inflation.




Friday May 05 2017
Malaysia Trade Surplus Narrows Sharply In March
Statistics Malaysia l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Malaysia's trade surplus fell sharply to MYR 5.41 billion in March of 2017 from MYR 11.19 billion in the same month the prior year. The figure came in below market consensus of a MYR 9.1 billion surplus, as exports rose much less than imports.

In March, sales went up  24.1 percent from a year earlier to MYR 82.6 billion, following a 26.5 percent growth in February and above market consensus of a 19.2 percent rise. It was the fifth straight month of growth, driven by electrical & electronic products (21.2 percent to MYR 29.3 billion, 35.4 percent of total exports), palm oil and palm based products (25.3 percent to MYR 6.5 billion, 7.8 percent share), crude petroleum (74.1 percent to MYR 3.1 billion, 3.7 percent share), natural rubber (111.6 percent to MYR 560.9 million, 0.7 percent share), and timber and timber-based products (12.4 percent to MYR 2.2 billion, 2.7 percent share). Exports soared to China (40.3 percent), followed by those to the EU countries  (28.1 percent) and the US (16.5 percent).

Imports surged 39.4 percent to MYR 77.2 billion, much faster than a 27.7 percent rise in the prior month and beating expectations of a 28.6 percent gain. It was the fourth consecutive month of increase, as purchases jumped for all categories: intermediate goods (36.3 percent, due to industrial supplies, processed: 34.8 percent; parts & accessories of capital goods, except transport equipment: 28.5 percent and fuel & lubricants, primary: 223.2 percent), capital goods (82.4 percent, due to an increase in capital goods except transport equipment: 64.3 percent and transpport equipment, industrial: 348.8 percent) and consumption goods (14.0 percent, due to semi-durables: 25.7 percent, durable: 28.9 percent and non-durable: 12.7 percent).

In February 2017, trade surplus came in at MYR 8.71 billion. 




Wednesday April 19 2017
Malaysia Inflation Rate Highest In Over 8 Years
Statistics of Malaysia l Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Malaysia rose 5.1 percent year-on-year in March of 2017, compared to a 4.5 percent increase in February and below markets expectations of a 5.3 percent rise. It was the highest inflation rate since November 2008, as prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages and housing and utilities increased further while cost of transport surged.

Year-on-year, upward prices pressure came from: food & non-alcoholic beverages (4.1 percent from 4.3 percent in February); alcoholic beverages & tobacco (0.2 percent from 0.2 percent); housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels (2.1 percent from 2.2 percent); furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance (1.5 percent from 1.5 percent), health (2.6 percent from 2.4 percent), transport (23.0 percent from 17.9 percent), recreation services & culture (3.0 percent from 3.1 percent), education (1.7 percent from 1.7 percent), restaurants & hotels (2.3 percent from 2.3 percent) and miscellaneous goods & services (1.3 percent from 1.4 percent). In contrast, downward prices pressure came from: clothing and footwear (-0.2 percent from -0.2 percent) and communication (-0.2 percent from -0.3 percent).
 
Among food & non-alcoholic beverages, customers had to pay more for most categories: food (4.3 percent from 4.5 percent); food at home (4.1 percent from 4.8 percent); rice, bread & other cereals (0.7 percent from 0.8 percent); meat (3.7 percent from 4.6 percent); fish & seafood (5.2 percent from 4.5 percent); oils & fats (38.8 percent from 38.3 percent), fruits (3.7 percent from 3.4 percent); vegetables (4.8 percent from 9.5 percent); sugar, jam, honey, chocolate & confectionary (1.5 percent from 0.4 percent); food products (5.0 percent from 5.3 percent), food away from home (4.4 percent from 4.1 percent). Meanwhile, prices of coffee, tea, cocoa & non-alcoholic beverages fell 0.4 percent (from -0.2 percent), and milk & eggs (-0.4 percent from 0.2 percent).
 
Core consumer prices went up 2.5 percent year-on-year, the same as in the prior month.
 
On a monthly basis, consumer prices decreased by 0.1 percent in March, following a 1.3 percent rise in a month earlier and marking the first drop since September 2016. Prices fell for: food & non-alcoholic beverages & tobacco ( -0.3 percent); clothing and footwear (-0.1 percent); transport (-0.3 percent), recreation services & culture (-0.2 percent).In contrast, cost went up for furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance ( 0.1 percent), health (0.2 percent), restaurants & hotels ( 0.2 percent) and  miscellaneous goods and services (0.1 percent), communication (0.1 percent) and education (0.1 percent), and alcoholic beverages & tobacco (0.1 percent). Cost was flat for housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels.
 
 
 
 
 


Wednesday April 05 2017
Malaysia Trade Surplus Widens In February
Statistics of Malaysia l Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Malaysia reported a MYR 8.7 billion trade surplus in February of 2017, compared to a MYR 7.35 billion surplus a year earlier and beating market consensus of a MYR 6.05 billion surplus.

Year-on-year exports surged 26.5 percent to MYR 71.8 billion, following a 13.6 percent rise in January and beating market consensus of a 17.9 percent growth.
 
Exports increase for the fourth straight month boosted by electrical & electronic products (22.4 percent to MYR 24.6 billion, 34.2 percent of total exports), palm oil and palm based products (62.8 percent to MYR 7.0 billion, 9.7 percent share), crude petroleum (50.4 percent to MYR 2.4 billion, 3.3 percent share), natural rubber (85.5 percent to MYR 505.8 million, 0.7 percent share) and LNG (2.1 percent to MYR 3.3 billion, 4.6 percent share), and timber and timber-based products (7.4 percent to MYR 1.7 billion, 2.4 percent share).
Exports went up to China (47.8 percent), the EU countries  (26.6 percent), the ASEAN countries (34.0 percent), and Singapore (25.3 percent).
 
Imports to Malaysia jumped 27.7 percent from a year earlier to MYR 63.1 billion in February of 2017, compared to 16.1 percent rise in the preceding month and higher than market expectations of a 21.7 percent. It was the fourth consecutive month of increase, as imports went up for most categories : intermediate goods (39.9 percent, due to  fuel & lubricants (258.4 percent); parts & accessories of capital goods, except transport equipment (14.1 percent); industrial supplies, processed (26.4 percent).  In contrast, imports for cosumption goods declined (0.6 percent, due to semi-durables (-5.3 percent), non-durables (-3.7 percent).
 
In January 2017, trade surplus stood at MYR 4.7 billion.

 








 


Friday March 24 2017
Malaysia Inflation Rate At Over 8-Year High Of 4.5% In February
Statistics Malaysia l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Malaysia rose 4.5 percent year-on-year in February of 2017, compared to a 3.2 percent increase in January and above markets expectations of a 4.1 percent rise. It was the highest inflation rate since November 2008, driven by faster rises in prices of food and non alcoholic beverages and housing and utilities while cost of transport surged.

Year-on-year, upward prices pressure came from: food & non-alcoholic beverages (4.3 percent from 4.0 percent in January); alcoholic beverages & tobacco (0.2 percent from 0.2 percent); housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels (2.2 percent from 1.9 percent); furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance (1.5 percent from 1.5 percent), health (2.4 percent from 2.5 percent), transport (17.9 percent from 8.3 percent), recreation services & culture (3.1 percent from 3.3 percent), education (1.7 percent from 2.0 percent), restaurants & hotels (2.3 percent from 2.1 percent) and miscellaneous goods & services (1.4 percent from 1.4 percent). In contrast, downward prices pressure came from: clothing and footwear (-0.2 percent from -0.7 percent) and communication (-0.3 percent from -0.2 percent).

Among food & non-alcoholic beverages, customers had to pay more for all categories: food (4.5 percent from 4.1 percent); food at home (4.8 percent from 4.4 percent); rice, bread & other cereals (0.8 percent from 0.8 percent); meat (4.6 percent from 2.0 percent); fish & seafood (4.5 percent from 6.1 percent); milk & eggs (0.2 percent from 0.5 percent), oils & fats (38.3 percent from 37.9 percent), fruits (3.4 percent from 2.1 percent); vegetables (9.5 percent from 7.8 percent); sugar, jam, honey, chocolate & confectionary (0.4 percent from 0.4 percent); food products (5.3 percent from 5.4 percent), food away from home (4.1 percent from 3.6 percent). Meanwhile, prices of coffee, tea, cocoa & non-alcoholic beverages fell 0.2 percent (compared to a flat reading in January 2017). 

Core consumer prices went up 2.5 percent year-on-year, following a 2.3 percent gain in the prior month and marking the highest figure in eleven months.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up by 1.3 percent in February, faster than a 1.1 percent rise in a month earlier. Prices rose for: food & non-alcoholic beverages & tobacco ( 1.2 percent); clothing and footwear (0.2 percent); housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels (0.4 percent); furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance ( 0.4 percent), health (0.3 percent), transport (5.5 percent), recreation services & culture (0.4 percent), restaurants & hotels ( 0.6 percent) and  miscellaneous goods and services (1.4 percent). In contrast, cost fell forcommunication (-0.1 percent) and education (-0.2 percent). Cost was flat for alcoholic beverages & tobacco.


Friday March 03 2017
Malaysia Trade Surplus Narrows To 6-Month Low
Statistic of Malaysia l Chusnul Ch Manan| chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Malaysia reported a MYR 4.71 billion trade surplus in January of 2017, compared to a MYR 5.39 billion surplus a year earlier while market expected a MYR 8.20 billion surplus. It was the smallest surplus since July 2016, as imports rose more than exports.

Year-on-year, sales increased by 13.6 percent to MYR 70.2 billion, following a 10.7 percent rise in December and below market consensus of a 15 percent growth. Sales increased for the third straight month, driven by electrical & electronic products (11.4 percent to MYR 24.9 billion, 35.4 percent of total exports), palm oil and palm oil-based products (23.3 percent to MYR 6 billion, 8.5 percent share), crude petroleum (48.1 percent to MYR 2.5 billion, 3.5 percent share), natural rubber (39.1 percent to MYR 393.7 million, 0.6 percent share) and LNG (2.8 percent to MYR 3.3 billion, 4.7 percent share). In contrast, outbound shipments fell for timber and timber-based products (-5.2 percent to MYR 1.9 billion, 2.8 percent share).

Exports increased to China (31.6 percent), the ASEAN countries (13.9 percent), and Singapore (18.8 percent) and the EU countries (5.8 percent).
 
Imports to Malaysia increased 16.1 percent from a year earlier to MYR 65.58 billion in January of 2017, compared to 11.5 percent growth in the preceding month and higher than market expectations of a 10 percent increase. It was the third consecutive month of rise, as purchases went up for most categories: intermediate goods (+10.4 percent, due to industrial supplies, processed: 5.9 percent; parts & accessories of capital goods, except transport equipment: 9.6 percent and fuel & lubricants, primary: 98.4 percent), capital goods (35.2 percent, due to an increase in capital goods except transport equipment: 24.7 percent, transpport equipment, industrial 236.3 percent). In contrast imports for consumption goods declined (1.6 percent, due to a decrease in semi-durables (-5.2 percent), food & beverages, processed for household consumption (-2.8 percent).
 
In December 2016, trade surplus stood at MYR 8.72 billion.


Thursday March 02 2017
Malaysia Leaves Monetary Policy Unchanged
Bank Negara Malaysia l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Malaysia's central bank held its benchmark overnight policy rate steady at 3.0 percent on March 2nd 2017, as expected. While saying that headline inflation would remain relatively high in the first half of 2017, due to the pass-through impact of the increase in global oil prices, policymakers judged the more positive contribution from the external sector will lead to a better performance of the economy.

Statement by the Bank Negara Malaysia:

The global economy is projected to expand at a slightly faster pace in 2017. Nevertheless, there remain risks to global growth arising from threats such as protectionism, geopolitical developments, heightened volatility of financial markets and negative developments in the prices of key commodities. 

Despite the challenging global and domestic environment, the Malaysian economy expanded by 4.2% in 2016. Growth was underpinned by private sector activity, with additional support from the turnaround in net exports. The growth momentum is expected to be sustained in 2017. With the growth of domestic demand being sustained, the more positive contribution from the external sector will lead to a better performance of the Malaysian economy. 

Headline inflation is projected to be higher in 2017, reflecting primarily the pass-through impact of the increase in global oil prices on domestic retail fuel prices. Headline inflation would remain relatively high in the first half of the year before moderating thereafter. However, the projected trajectory of domestic headline inflation will be dependent on the future trend in global oil prices which remains highly uncertain. The cost-driven inflation is not expected to have a significant impact on the broader price trends given the stable domestic demand conditions. Core inflation is expected to increase modestly.

The ringgit, along with other emerging market currencies, has continued to stabilise. The implementation of financial market development measures has had a positive impact on the domestic financial markets. Banking system liquidity remains sufficient. Financial institutions continue to operate with strong capital and liquidity buffers and the growth of financing to the private sector is consistent with the pace of economic activity.

At the current level of the OPR  (Overnight Policy Rate), the stance of monetary policy is accommodative and supportive of economic activity. The MPC will continue to assess the balance of risks surrounding the outlook for domestic growth and inflation.



Wednesday February 22 2017
Malaysia Inflation Rate At 11-Month High Of 3.2% In January
Statistics of Malaysia l Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Malaysia rose 3.2 percent year-on-year in January of 2017, compared to a 1.8 percent increase in December 2016 and above markets expectations of a 2.8 percent rise. It was the highest inflation rate since February 2016, mainly driven by a faster increase in prices of food and non alcoholic beverages and a surge in cost of transport.

Year-on-year, upward prices pressure came from: food & non-alcoholic beverages (4.0 percent from 3.7 percent in December), transport (8.3 percent from -0.6 percent), alcoholic beverages & tobacco (0.2 percent from 0.1 percent); housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels (1.9 percent from 2.1 percent); furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance (1.5 percent from 1.4 percent), health (2.5 percent from 2.4 percent), recreation services & culture (3.2 percent from 3.3 percent), education (2.0 percent from 1.7 percent), restaurants & hotels (2.1 percent from 1.9 percent) and miscellaneous goods & services (1.4 percent from 1.8 percent). In contrast, downward prices pressure came from: clothing and footwear (-0.7 percent from -0.5 percent) and communication (-0.2 percent from -2.6 percent).
 
Among food & non-alcoholic beverages, customers had to pay more for all categories: food (4.0 percent from 3.8 percent); food at home (4.4 percent from 4.1 percent); rice, bread & other cereals (0.8 percent from 0.7 percent); meat (2.0 percent from 3.0 percent); fish & seafood (6.1 percent from 5.6 percent); milk & eggs (0.5 percent from 0.1 percent), oils & fats (37.9 percent from 36.9 percent), fruits (2.1 percent from 2.7 percent); vegetables (7.8 percent from 4.8 percent); sugar, jam, honey, chocolate & confectionary (0.4 percent from 2.0 percent); food products (5.4 percent from 5.4 percent), food away from home (3.6 percent from 3.5 percent) and coffee, tea, cocoa & non-alcoholic beverages (0.0 percent from 0.3 percent).
 
Core consumer prices went up 2.3 percent year-on-year, following a 2.1 percent gain in December and marking the highest figure in nine months.
 
On a monthly basis, consumer prices increased by 1.1 percent in January, compared to a flat reading in the prior month. Prices rose for: food & non-alcoholic beverages & tobacco ( 0.9 percent); furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance ( 0.4 percent), health (0.3 percent), transport (5.9 percent), education (1 percent), restaurants & hotels ( 0.3 percent) and miscellaneous goods and services (0.1 percent). Prices were flat for alcoholic beverages & tobacco, clothing & footwear; housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels and communication.