Friday November 17 2017
Malaysia Q3 GDP Growth Strongest In Over 3 Years
Bank Negara Malaysia l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The Malaysian economy advanced 6.2 percent year-on-year in the September quarter of 2017, compared to a 5.8 percent growth in the previous three months and beating market consensus of a 5.4 percent expansion. It was the strongest growth since the June quarter 2014, boosted by robust private consumption and faster rises in government spending, investment and exports.

In the third quarter, private consumption increased by 7.2 percent year-on-year, following a 7.1 percent rise in the previous period, supported by consumption on food & non-alcoholic beverages, communication and housing & utilities. Also, goverment spending rose 4.3 percent, faster than a 3.3 percent increase in the prior three months. In addition, gross fixed capital formation expanded 6.7 percent, much faster than a 4.1 percent growth in the preceding quarter, driven by machinery & equipment and recovery in other asset. Exports grew by 11.8 percent, higher than  a 9.6 percent rise in the June quarter. Imports advanced 13.4 percent, compared to a 10.7 percent rise in the previous three months. 

On the production side, the services sector went up by 6.6 percent, stronger than a 6.3 percent rise in Q2. At the same time, the manufacturing sector rose 7.0 percent, after growing 6.0 percent in the June quarter. Also, the mining & quarrying sector increased at a faster 3.1 percent (from 0.2 percent). Meantime, the construction sector grew by 6.1 percent (after a 8.3 percent rise in Q2). The agriculture sector grew by 4.1 percent, compared to a 5.9 percent increase in the June quarter. 

Moving forward, the economy is expected  to reach  the upper range of the official projection of 5.2 – 5.7 percent in 2017, supported by domestic demand. Meantime, exports are expected to continue benefiting from the favourable global demand conditions. Headline inflation is expected to average at the upper end of the forecast range of 3 – 4 percent for 2017 as a whole.

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted basis, the economy grew by 1.8 percent, faster than a 1.3 percent growth in the previous period. 




Thursday November 09 2017
Malaysia Leaves Monetary Policy Unchanged
Bank Negara Malaysia l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The Central Bank of Malaysia left its benchmark overnight policy rate unchanged at 3 percent on November 9th 2017, as expected. While saying the trend of headline inflation will be dependent on future global oil prices which remain highly uncertain, policymakers judged economic growth momentum has been lifted by stronger spillovers from the external sector to the domestic economy as firms invest in productive capacity, raise wages and hire more workers.

Statement by the Bank Negara Malaysia:

The global economy continues to strengthen. Growth has become more entrenched and synchronised across regions. Global trade has picked up significantly. Amid the sustained growth performance, economic slack is diminishing in the advanced economies. In Asia, growth is driven by sustained domestic activity and strong external demand. Financial markets have also been relatively calm in the recent period. For 2018, the global economy is projected to experience sustained growth. While there are risks arising from geopolitical and policy developments in major economies, economic prospects are expected to remain favourable.

For Malaysia, economic growth has become more entrenched. Both the domestic and external sectors continue to register strong performance. Growth momentum has been lifted by stronger spillovers from the external sector to the domestic economy as firms invest in productive capacity, raise wages and hire more workers. For 2018, domestic demand is expected to remain the key source of growth. Private consumption will remain the largest driver of growth, supported by continued improvements in income and overall labour market conditions. Investment will be sustained by infrastructure projects and higher capital investment in the manufacturing and services sectors. The external sector will provide additional impetus to the economy. Overall, the assessment is for growth to remain strong in 2018.

Domestic inflation has been driven mostly by movements in global oil prices. Consequently, headline inflation increased to 4.3% in September, arising from higher global prices of refined oil caused by disruptions in the global supply. For 2017 as a whole, headline inflation is expected to be at the upper end of the forecast range. Moving into 2018, headline inflation is projected to moderate on expectations of a smaller effect from global cost factors. Nevertheless, the trend of headline inflation will be dependent on future global oil prices which remain highly uncertain. Underlying inflation, as measured by core inflation, will be sustained by robust domestic demand.

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. Given the strength of the global and domestic macroeconomic conditions, the Monetary Policy Committee may consider reviewing the current degree of monetary accommodation. This is to ensure the sustainability of the growth prospects of the Malaysian economy.




Friday November 03 2017
Malaysia Trade Surplus Widens 13.2% in September
Department of Statistics, Malaysia l Chusnul Ch manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Malaysia's trade surplus increased to MYR 8.6 billion in September of 2017 from MYR 7.6 billion in the same month of the prior year and below market estimates of a MYR 8.8 billion surplus.

In September, sales rose by 14.8 percent from a year earlier to MYR 78.3 illion, following an upwardly revised 21.6 percent rise in August and below market consensus of a 18 percent growth. It was the eleventh straight month of growth in outbound shipments, driven by electrical & electronic products (17.7 percent to MYR 30.9 billion, 39.4 percent of total exports); liquefied natural gas (8.2 percent to MYR 3 billion, 3.9 percent share); refined petroleum products (13.2 percent to MYR 4.7 billion, 6 percent share); natural rubber (3.4 percent to MYR 312.6 million, 0.4 percent share), timber and timber-based products (0.1 percent to MYR 1.8 billion, 2.3 percent share). In contrast, outbound shipments fell for crude petroleum (-4.9 percent to MYR 1.7 billion, 2.2 percent share); palm and palm oil-based products (-1.6 percent to MYR 6 .3 billion, 8 percent share).
 
Exports to China  rose 27.1 percent, followed by those to the EU (16.2 percent), the US (10.7 percent), and Singapore (8.1 percent).
 
Imports went up 15.2 percent to MYR 69.7 billion, after a downwardly revised 22.4 percent rise in the prior month while market expected a 20 percent growth. It marked the tenth straight month of increase in inbound shipments, as purchases increased for all categories. Imports of intermediate goods rose 13.7 percent to MYR 39.5 billion, driven by parts & accessories of capital goods, except transport equipment (22.9 percent); industrial supplies, processed (8.1 percent), and fuel & lubricants, processed, others (42.5 percent). Inbound shipments of capital goods grew by 10.4 percent to MYR 9.3 billion, mainly due to capital goods except transport equipment (14.3 percent). Purchases of consumption goods went up 5.6 percent to MYR 5.7 billion, led by food and beverages, processed mainly for house consumption (16.5 percent), semi-durable (5.1 percent), and non-durable (5.2  percent).
 
In August 2017, the trade surplus stood at MYR 9.9 billion.




Friday October 20 2017
Malaysia Inflation Rate at 5-Month High of 4.3% in September
Department of Statistics, Malaysia l Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Malaysia increased 4.3 percent from a year earlier in September of 2017, compared to a 3.7 percent rise in the prior month, and in line with market expectations. It was the highest inflation rate since April, due to faster rises in cost of food & non-alcoholic beverages and transport while cost of housing increased further.

Year-on-year, prices went up at a faster pace for: food & non-alcoholic beverages (4.6 percent from 4.3 percent in August); transport (15.8 percent from 11.7 percent); furnishings, household equipment & routine maintenance (2.8 percent from 2.7 percent); miscellaneous goods & services (1.1 percent from 0.9 percent). Cost rose less than in a month earlier for both restaurants and hotels (2.6 percent from 2.8 percent) and health (2.5 percent from 2.7 percent).In contrast, cost fell for both clothing & footwear (-0.3 percent from -0.3 percent) and communication (-0.3 percent from -0.3 percent). Inflation was steady for: housing and utilities (2.4 percent); recreation services & culture (0.4 percent); alcoholic beverages & tobacco (0.1 percent), and education (1.6 percent).
 
Core consumer prices increased 2.4 percent year-on-year, the same pace as in the prior month.
 
On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up by 0.3 percent in September. easing from a 0.9 percent rise in the previous month. It was the second straight month increase in consumer prices, as cost of transport went up further (2.0 percent from 4.6 percent). Meantime, prices were flat for both  food and non-alcoholic beverages (from 0.4 percent) and housing and utilities (from 0.6 percent).
 
 
 







Friday October 06 2017
Malaysia Trade Surplus Largest in 17 Months
Statistics Malaysia l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Malaysia's trade surplus rose markedly to MYR 9.9 billion in August of 2017 from MYR 8.5 billion in the same month of the prior year and above market estimates of a MYR 9.6 billion surplus. It was the largest trade surplus since March 2016, supported by robust exports.

In August, sales increased by 21.5 percent from a year earlier to MYR 72.2 billion, following a 30.9 percent rise in July and beating market consensus of a 19.2 percent growth. It was the tenth straight month of growth in outbound shipments, driven by electrical & electronic products (20.1 percent to MYR 31.0 billion, 37.8 percent of total exports); liquefied natural gas (101.8 percent to MYR 4.0 billion, 4.8 percent share); refined petroleum products (35.5 percent to MYR 4.3 billion, 5.2 percent share); natural rubber (47.0 percent to MYR 376.5 million, 0.5 percent share), timber and timber-based products (6.1 percent to MYR 2.0 billion, 2.5 percent share) and crude petroleum (0.04 percent to MYR 1.9 billion, 2.3 percent share). In contrast, outbound shipments fell for palm and palm oil-based products (-1.5 percent to MYR 6.6 billion, 8.0 percent share).

Exports to China  rose 21.1 percent, followed by those to Singapore (20.5 percent), the US (14.5 percent), Japan (18.0 percent) and Thailand (7.4 percent).

Imports went up 22.6 percent to MYR 72.4 billion, after a 21.8 percent rise in the prior month while market expected a 21 percent growth. It marked the ninth straight month of increase in inbound shipments, as purchases increased for all categories. Imports of intermediate goods rose 25.5 percent to MYR 43.2 billion, driven by parts & accessories of capital goods, except transport equipment (48.1 percent); industrial supplies, processed (9.2 percent). Inbound shipments of capital goods grew by 12.7 percent to MYR 9.1 billion, mainly due to capital goods except transport equipment (18.7 percent). Purchases of consumption goods went up 17.8 percent to MYR 6.2 billion, led by food and beverages, processed mainly for house consumption (26.4 percent), semi-durable (19.8 percent) and non-durable (19.6 percent).

In July 2017, the trade surplus stood at MYR 8.0 billion..


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.