Wednesday September 20 2017
Malaysia Inflation Rate at 3-Month High of 3.7% in August
Department of Statistics Malaysia | Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Malaysia rose 3.7 percent from a year earlier in August of 2017, compared to a 3.2 percent rise in the prior month. It was the highest inflation rate since May, as cost went up more for food & non-alcoholic beverages, transport, and housing.

Year-on-year, prices increased at a faster pace for: food & non-alcoholic beverages (4.3 percent from 4.2 percent in July), transport (11.7 percent from 7.7 percent), housing and utilities (2.4 percent from 2.2 percent), restaurants and hotels (2.8 percent from 2.6 percent), furnishings, household equipment & routine maintenance (2.7 percent from 2.6 percent). Cost went up less than in a month earlier for: recreation services & culture (0.4 percent from 2.6 percent), miscellaneous goods & services (0.9 percent from 1.1 percent), and health (2.7 percent from 2.9 percent). In contrast, cost fell for: clothing & footwear (-0.3 percent from -0.4 percent) and communication (-0.3 percent, the same pace as in July). Inflation was steady for: alcoholic beverages & tobacco (0.1 percent), education (1.6 percent).
 
Core consumer prices went up 2.4 percent year-on-year, slightly slower than a 2.6 percent gain in the prior month.
 
On a monthly basis, consumer prices increased by 0.9 percent in August, the first increase in consumer prices in 6 months, as cost of transport rebounded (4.6 percent from -1.1 percent) while cost food and non-alcoholic beverages rose more (0.4 percent from 0.2 percent), and housing and utilities increased by 0.6 percent, after being flat in July.




Thursday September 07 2017
Malaysia Holds Overnight Policy Rate at 3%
Bank Negara Malaysia | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

The Central Bank of Malaysia left its benchmark overnight policy rate unchanged at 3 percent on September 7th 2017, as widely expected, saying the stance of monetary policy remains accommodative. Policymakers also noted that growth in 2017 will be stronger than earlier estimated while inflation is projected to moderate on expectations of a smaller effect from global cost factors.

Statement by the Bank Negara Malaysia:

The global economy continues to strengthen with growth becoming more entrenched and synchronised across countries. Global trade has picked up significantly. In the advanced economies, both consumption and investment continue to improve. In Asia, growth is driven by sustained domestic activity and strong external demand. These developments point to sustained momentum in global growth. This outlook nevertheless may be affected by political and policy developments in major economies and geopolitical risks.

The Malaysian economy recorded a higher growth in the second quarter of 2017, driven by firmer domestic activity and exports. Looking ahead, growth prospects will be sustained by the more positive global growth outlook and stronger spillovers from the external sector to the domestic economy. Domestic demand will remain the key driver of growth, supported by improving incomes and overall labour market conditions, new and ongoing infrastructure projects and sustained capital investment by firms in the manufacturing and services sectors. Overall, growth in 2017 will be stronger than earlier expected.

Headline inflation continued its moderating trend, declining to 3.2% in July, due mainly to the decline in domestic fuel prices. Going forward, headline inflation is projected to moderate on expectations of a smaller effect from global cost factors. Underlying inflation, as measured by core inflation, will be sustained by the more robust domestic demand but is expected to remain contained.

The domestic financial markets have been resilient. The ringgit has strengthened to better reflect the economic fundamentals. Banking system liquidity remains sufficient with financial institutions continuing to operate with strong capital and liquidity buffers. The growth of financing to the private sector has been sustained and is supportive of economic activity.

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




Wednesday September 06 2017
Malaysia Trade Surplus Widens in July
Department of Statistics Malaysia l Chusnul Ch Manan| chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Malaysia's trade surplus increased sharply to MYR 8.0 billion in July of 2017 from MYR 1.9 billion in the same month of the prior year and beating market estimates of a MYR 6.5 billion surplus.

In July,  sales  increased 30.9 percent from a year earlier to MYR 78.6 billion in July of 2017, accelerating from a 10.0 percent gain in June. Still, it was the ninth straight month of growth in outbound shipments, driven by electrical & electronic products (28.3 percent to MYR 27.9 billion, 35.5 percent of total exports), liquefied natural gas (50.8 percent to MYR 3.8 billion, 4.8 percent of total exports), palm oil and palm based products (12.0 percent to MYR 6.4 billion, 8.1 percent of total exports), natural rubber (19.4 percent to MYR 324.1 million, 0.4 percent of total exports), refined petroleum products (85.4 percent to MYR 6.3 billion, 8.0 percent of total exports), and timber and timber-based products (19.8 percent to MYR 1.9 billion, 24 percent of total exports). In contrast, outbound shipments fell for crude petroleum (-2.1 percent to MYR 2.0 billion, 2.6 percentt of total exports).
 
Exports increased to China (28.8 percent), Singapore (32.3 percent), the USA (14.4 percent), the EU countries (34.1 percent), and ASEAN countries (33.8 percent).
 
Imports rose 21.8 percent to MYR 70.6 billion, following a 3.7 percent rise in the prior month. Still, it marked the eighth straight month of increase in inbound shipments. Purchases of intermediate goods went up 24.2 percent to MYR 39.9 billion, driven by parts & accessories of capital goods, except transport equipment (28.3 percent); industrial supplies, processed (29.9 percent). Imports of consumption goods went up 21.8 percent to MYR 6 billion, driven by semi-durables (15.2 percent), non-durables (20.4 percent), and food and beverages, processed mainly for house consumption (34.7 percent). In contrast, imports of of capital goods fell 16.5 percent to MYR 9.2 billion, due to the decrease capital goods except transport equipment (-20.4 percent) while transport equipment recorded an increase 31.4 percent.
 
In June 2017, the trade surplus came in at MYR 9.9 billion.
 




Wednesday August 23 2017
Malaysia Inflation Rate Eases To 6-Month Low Of 3.2% In July
Statistics Malaysia l Charles | charles@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Malaysia rose 3.2 percent from a year earlier in July of 2017, compared to a 3.6 percent rise in the prior month and below market expectations of a 3.3 percent increase. It was the lowest inflation rate since January, mainly due to a slowdown in the cost of food & non-alcoholic beverages, recreation services & culture and transport while inflation was steady for housing & utilities.

Year-on-year, prices increased at a slower pace for: food & non-alcoholic beverages (4.2 percent from 4.3 percent in June), transport (7.7 percent from 10.5 percent), recreation services & culture (2.6 percent from 3 percent), education (1.6 percent from 1.7 percent) and  miscellaneous goods & services (1.1 percent from 1.2 percent). Costs went up more than in a month earlier for: restaurants and hotels (2.6 percent from 2.5 percent), furnishings, household equipment & routine maintenance (2.6 percent from 2.1 percent) and health (2.9 percent from 2.6 percent). In contrast, costs fell at the same rate for: clothing & footwear (-0.4 percent) and communication (-0.3 percent). Inflation was steady for: alcoholic beverages & tobacco (0.1 percent); and housing & utilities (2.2 percent).

Among food & non-alcoholic beverages, customers had to pay more for most categories: food at home (4.1 percent from 4.2 percent in May); rice, bread & other cereals (1.8 percent from 0.8 percent), meat (1.3 percent from 4.2 percent); fish & seafood (6.7 percent from 7.2 percent); oils & fats (39.5 percent from 39.4 percent), fruits (3.6 percent from 3.7 percent); vegetables (3.3 percent from 1.8 percent); sugar, jam, honey, chocolate & confectionary (1.6 percent from 1.5 percent), food products (3.4 percent, same as in June) and food away from home (4.9 percent from 4.8 percent). Meanwhile, prices of milk & eggs fell 0.5 percent (from -1.2 percent) and those of coffee, tea, cocoa & non-alcoholic beverages declined by 0.3 percent (from -0.7 percent).

Core consumer prices went up 2.6 percent year-on-year, slightly faster than a 2.5 percent gain in the prior month.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices declined by 0.1 percent in July, less than the 0.2 percent drop in June, due to a rebound in miscellaneous goods & services (0.3 percent from -0.1 percent), while prices declined less for transport (-1.1 percent from -2.4 percent). Moreover, prices accelerated for furnishings, household equipment & routine maintenance (0.7 percent from 0 percent), health (0.3 percent from 0.2 percent) and restaurants & hotels (0.2 percent from 0.1 percent).


Friday August 18 2017
Malaysia GDP Growth Beats Estimates In Q2
Department Statistics of Malaysia | Charles | charles@tradingeconomics.com

The Malaysian economy expanded 5.8 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2017, compared to a 5.6 percent growth in the previous three months and above market expectations of 5.4 percent. The expansion remained at its strongest level since the March quarter 2015, as private consumption rose at a faster pace and growth in most sectors accelerated.

In the June quarter, private consumption increased by 7.1 percent year-on-year, faster than a 6.6 percent rise in the previous period. Gross fixed capital formation growth moderated to 4.1 percent, compared to a 10 percent expansion in the preceding quarter. Exports rose 9.6 percent from  a 9.8 percent rise in the March quarter. Imports advanced at a slower 10.7 percent, compared to a 12.9 percent rise in the previous three months. Goverment spending growth moderated to 3.3 percent, from a 7.5 percent increase in the prior three months.

On the production side, the construction sector grew by a faster 8.3 percent (from 6.5 percent in Q1), propelled by civil enigineering, specialized construction activities and residential buildings; as did services (6.3 percent from 5.8 percent), primarily led by wholesdale & retail trade and information & communication; and manufacturing (6 percent from 5.6 percent), boosted by electrical, electronic & optical products and vegetable and animal oils & fats and food processing. Meanwhile, the mining & quarrying sector increased at a slower pace (0.2 percent from 1.6 percent in Q1), and the agriculture sector decelerated (5.9 percent from 8.3 percent), as the growth for palm oil eased (12.1 percent from 17.7 percent).

Moving forward, the Malaysian economy is expected  to expand by more than 4.8 percent in 2017, supported by domestic demand. Meantime, exports are expected to benefit from the stronger-than-expected improvement in global growth. Headline inflation is expected to moderate further in the second half of 2017, reflecting the waning effect of global cost factors. For 2017, it is expected to average within the forecast range of 3.0 – 4.0 percent.

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted basis, the economy grew by 1.3 percent, slower than a 1.8 percent growth in the previous period. Q1's growth was the fastest quarterly expansion since the third quarter 2013.




Friday August 04 2017
Malaysia Trade Surplus Largest In 15 Months
Statistics Malaysia l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Malaysia's trade surplus increased sharply to MYR 9.9 billion in June of 2017 from MYR 5.5 billion in the same month of the prior year and beating market estimates of a MYR 5.5 billion surplus. It was the largest trade surplus since March 2016, as exports rose more than imports.

In June, sales rose 10.0 percent from a year earlier to MYR 73.1 billion, slowing from a 32.5 percent gain in May and below estimates of a 15.8 percent growth. Still, it was the eighth straight month of growth in outbound shipments, driven by electrical & electronic products (15.1 percent to MYR 28.0 billion, 38.3 percent of total exports), liquefied natural gas (97.3 percent to MYR 4.0 billion, 5.4 percent share), palm oil and palm based products (15.8 percent to MYR 6.2 billion, 8.5 percent share) and natural rubber (11.8 percent to MYR 328.8 million, o.4 percent share). In contrast, outbound shipments fell for: refined petroleum products (-15.7 percent to MYR 3.7 billion, 5.0 percent share), timber and timber-based products (-3.7 percent to MYR 1.7 billion, 2.4 percent share) and crude petroleum (-1.0 percent to MYR 1.9 billion, 2.6 percent share).

Exports increased to China (27.3 percent), Singapore (9.1 percent), the US (1.8 percent), Japan (24.3 percent) and Thailand (2.5 percent).

Imports went up 3.7 percent to MYR 63.2 billion, following a 30.4 percent rise in the prior month while market expected a 19.0 percent rise. Still, it marked the seventh consecutive month of increase in inbound shipments. Purchases of intermediate goods went up 10.3 percent to MYR 38.2 billion, due to parts & accessories of capital goods, except transport equipment (17.1 percent); industrial supplies, processed: (6.2 percent); industrial supplies, primary (30.0 percent) and food & beverages, processed, mainly for industries (26.9 percent). Imports of of capital goods rose 0.6 percent to MYR 8.2 billion, driven by transport equipment (3.5 percent) and capital goods (except transport equipment) (0.2 percent). In contrast, imports of consumption goods fell 5.2 percent, due to semi-durables (-10.3 percent) and food and beverages, processed mainly for house consumption (-8.4 percent).

In May 2017, the trade surplus came in at MYR 5.5 billion.


Wednesday July 19 2017
Malaysia Inflation Rate Eases To 5-Month Low Of 3.6% In June
Statistics Malaysia l Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Malaysia rose 3.6 percent from a year earlier in June of 2017, compared to a 3.9 percent rise in the prior month and below market expectations of a 3.9 percent increase. It was the lowest inflation rate since January, mainly due to a slowdown in cost of food & non-alcoholic beverages and transport while inflation was steady for housing & utilities.

Year-on-year, prices increased at a slower pace for: food & non-alcoholic beverages (4.3 percent from 4.4 percent in May), alcoholic beverages & tobacco (0.1 percent from 0.2 percent), health (2.6 percent from 2.9 percent), transport (10.5 percent from 13.1 percent) and  miscellaneous goods & services (1.2 percent from 1.3 percent). Cost went up more than in a month earlier for: recreation services & culture (3.0 percent from 2.9 percent) and restaurant and hotels (2.5 percent from 2.3 percent). In contrast, cost fell for: clothing and footwear (-0.4 percent from -0.2 percent) and communication (-0.3 percent, the same as in May). Inflation was steady for: housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels (2.2 percent); furnishing, household equipment & routine maintenance (2.1 percent) and education (1.7 percent). 

Among food & non-alcoholic beverages, customers had to pay more for most categories: food at home (4.2 percent from 4.3 percent in May); rice, bread & other cereals (0.8 percent, the same as in May), meat (4.2 percent from 5.1 percent); fish & seafood (7.2 percent from 7.7 percent); oils & fats (39.4 percent from 38.9 percent), fruits (3.7 percent from 3.3 percent); vegetables (1.8 percent from 0.8 percent); sugar, jam, honey, chocolate & confectionary (1.5 percent from 1.6 percent), food products (3.4 percent from 4.2 percent) and food away from home (4.8 percent from 4.9 percent). Meanwhile, prices of milk & eggs fell 1.2 percent (from -0.6 percent) and those of coffee, tea, cocoa & non-alcoholic beverages declined by 0.7 percent (from -0.6 percent).

Core consumer prices went up 2.5 percent year-on-year, slowing slightly from a 2.6 percent gain in the prior month.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices declined by 0.2 percent in June, the same pace as in May, due to falling prices for transport (-2.4 percent), clothing & footwear (-0.2 percent), and alcoholic beverages & tobacco (-0.1 percent).


Thursday July 13 2017
Malaysia Holds Key Rate Steady At 3% In July
Bank Negara Malaysia l Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Malaysia's central bank held its benchmark overnight policy rate steady at 3.0 percent on July 13th 2017, as expected. Policymakers said the decision was accommodative and supportive of economic activity. The growth will be driven by sustained export performance on more favourable growth prospects. Headline inflation is expected to moderate in the second half of the year .The central bank has kept the key rate at 3.0 percent since July 2016, when it cut the rate for the first time in over seven years.


Statement by the Bank Negara Malaysia:

The global economy continues to strengthen with growth becoming more synchronised across countries. Industrial activity and global trade are exceeding earlier projections. In the advanced economies, the broad-based increase in investment amid the steady growth in consumption is raising growth prospects. In Asia, growth is expected to be driven by domestic activity and stronger external demand. Risks to the global growth outlook arise mainly from political and policy uncertainties in the major economies, geopolitical and financial market developments, and volatility of commodity prices.

The Malaysian economy performed better than expected in the first quarter of 2017. Growth was lifted by stronger domestic demand with additional impetus from exports. Going forward, the more favourable global growth prospects will lead to sustained export performance and generate positive spillovers to the domestic economy. Private consumption will be underpinned by higher wages and employment. The improved investment outlook is being driven by new and ongoing infrastructure projects, and stronger capacity expansion in the manufacturing and services sectors. Overall, the economy is expected to register higher growth in 2017.

Headline inflation moderated to 3.9% in May, due mainly to the decline in domestic fuel prices during the month. Headline inflation is expected to moderate in the second half of the year mainly reflecting the waning effect of global cost factors. Underlying inflation, as measured by core inflation, will be sustained by the more robust domestic demand but is expected to remain contained.

The domestic financial markets have been resilient. The ringgit has remained stable with a more balanced demand and supply of foreign currencies following the implementation of the two financial market development measures. Banking system liquidity remains sufficient with financial institutions continuing to operate with strong capital and liquidity buffers. The growth of financing to the private sector has improved, 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 July 07 2017
Malaysia Trade Surplus Widens 67% YoY In May
Department of Statistics Malaysia l Charles | charles@tradingeconomics.com

Malaysia's trade surplus increased sharply to MYR 5.5 billion in May of 2017 from MYR 3.3 billion in the same month of the prior year but below market estimates of a MYR 7.5 billion surplus, as exports rose more than imports.

In May, sales jumped 32.5 percent from a year earlier to MYR 79.4 billion, following a 20.6 percent growth in April. It was the seventh straight month of growth, as all main products recorded gains: electrical & electronic products (31.3 percent), palm oil and palm based products (26.8 percent), liquefied natural gas (3.8 percent), crude petroleum (56.8 percent), natural rubber (46.8 percent), and timber and timber-based products (12.8 percent).

By region, exports soared to China (51.5 percent from 50.6 percent in April), the EU (29.7 percent from 26.5 percent) and to Singapore (45 percent from 15.8 percent).
 
Imports surged 30.4 percent to MYR 73.9 billion, faster than a 24.7 percent rise in the prior month. It was the sixth consecutive month of increase, as purchases expanded for all categories. Imports of intermediate goods surged 33.8 percent, due to parts & accessories of capital goods, except transport equipment (32.9 percent); industrial supplies, processed: (24.9 percent); fuel & lubricants, primary (72.6 percent) and fuel & lubricants, processed (124.1 percent). Purchases of capital goods rose 6.6 percent, driven by capital goods except transport equipment (21.3 percent). Imports of consumption goods increased by 8.3 percent, due to food and beverages, processed mainly for house consumption (21.9 percent) and non-durable (5.9 percent).

In April 2017, the trade surplus came in at MYR 8.8 billion.


Wednesday June 21 2017
Malaysia Inflation Rate Eases To 4-Month Low Of 3.9%
Department of Statistics Malaysia l Charles | charles@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Malaysia rose 3.9 percent year-on-year in May of 2017, compared to a 4.4 percent increase in April and slightly below market expectations of a 4 percent increase. It was the lowest inflation rate since January 2017, mainly due to a slowdown in the cost of transport.

Year-on-year, prices rose at a slower pace for transport (13.1 percent from 16.7 percent); recreation services & culture (2.9 percent from 3 percent); restaurants & hotels (2.3 percent from 2.4 percent); and miscellaneous goods & services (1.3 percent from 1.5 percent).
 
Meanwhile, inflation was steady for alcoholic beverages & tobacco (0.2 percent); housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels (2.2 percent); and education (1.7 percent). Also, cost fell further for clothing & footwear (-0.2 percent from -0.1 percent). 

In contrast, prices accelerated for food and non-alcoholic beverages (4.4 percent from 4.1 percent); furnishings, household equipment & routine household maintenance (2.1 percent from 1.9 percent) and health (2.9 percent from 2.8 percent).

Among food & non-alcoholic beverages, customers had to pay more for most categories: food at home (4.3 percent from 4 percent in April); rmeat (5.1 percent from 4.2 percent); fish & seafood (7.7 percent from 6.2 percent); fruits (3.3 percent from 2.4 percent); sugar, jam, honey, chocolate & confectionary (1.6 percent from 1.5 percent). Meanwhile, prices of milk & eggs fell 0.6 percent (from -1.1 percent) and those of coffee, tea, cocoa & non-alcoholic beverages declined 0.6 percent (from -0.4 percent).

Core consumer prices went up 2.6 percent year-on-year, after a 2.3 percent increase in the prior month.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices declined by 0.2 percent in May, following a 0.3 percent fall in a month earlier and marking the third straight month of decline. Prices fell for: clothing & footwear (-0.2 percent); and transport (-3.2 percent). In contrast, costs went up for food & non-alcoholic beverages (0.5 percent); alcoholic beverages & tobacco (0.1 percent); housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels (0.5 percent); furnishings, household equipment & routine household maintenance (0.3 percent); health (0.2 percent); and restaurants & hotels (0.2 percent). Cost was unchanged for communication, recreation services & culture, education and miscellaneous goods & services.