Friday January 05 2018
Malaysia Trade Surplus Below Consensus in November
Department of Statistics, Malaysia | Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Malaysia's trade surplus increased to MYR 9.9 billion in November of 2017 from MYR 9.1 billion in the same month of the prior year but below market estimates of a MYR 10.9 billion surplus.

In November, sales increased by 14.4 percent from a year earlier to MYR 83.5 billion, following a 18.9 percent rise in October and above market consensus of a 13.9 percent growth. It was the thirteenth straight month of growth in outbound shipments, driven by electrical & electronic products (21 percent to MYR 31.7 billion, 38 percent of total exports); liquefied natural gas (7.5 percent to MYR 3.5 billion, 4.2 percent share); refined petroleum products (0.2 percent to MYR 4.4 billion, 5.3 percent share);  timber and timber-based products (11.5 percent to MYR 2.1 billion, 2.5 percent share), and palm oil and palm oil-based products (2.7 percent to MYR 6.8 billion, 8.2 percent share).
 
Exports to the ASEAN countirs rose 18.3 percent, followed by those to Singapore (16.8 percent), the US (12.4 percent), the EU countries (12.4 percent), and China (3.3 percent). 
 
Imports rose 15.2 percent to MYR 73.6 billion, after a 20.9 percent rise in the prior month while markets expected a 13.9 percent growth. It marked the twelfth straight month of increase in inbound shipments, as purchases increased for all categories. Imports of intermediate goods rose 13.8 percent to MYR 40.4 billion, driven by parts & accessories of capital goods, except transport equipment (14.4 percent); industrial supplies, processed (15.4 percent). Inbound shipments of capital goods grew by 12.2 percent to MYR 10.3 billion, mainly due to capital goods except transport equipment (22.3 percent). Purchases of consumption goods went up 6.6 percent to MYR 6.6 billion, led by food and beverages, processed mainly for house consumption (15.7 percent) and durables (11.3  percent).
 
In October 2017, the trade surplus stood at MYR 10.6 billion.




Wednesday December 20 2017
Malaysia Inflation Rate at 4-Month Low of 3.4% in November
Statistics Malaysia l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Malaysia rose 3.4 percent from a year earlier in November of 2017, slowing from a 3.7 percent rise in the prior month and matching market consensus. It was the lowest inflation rate since July, due to a slowdown in cost of food & non-alcoholic beverages, transport and housing & utilities.

Year-on-year, prices increased less for: food & non-alcoholic beverages (4.0 percent from 4.4 percent in October); housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels (2.2 percent from 2.4 percent); furnishings, household equipment & routine maintenance (2.5 percent from 2.6 percent); health (2.2 percent from 2.4 percent) and transport (10.8 percent from 12.1 percent); education (1.5 percent from 1.6 percent) and miscellaneous goods & services (0.7 percent from 1.2 percent). Cost rose at a faster pace for: alcoholic beverages & tobacco (0.2 percent from 0.1 percent);  recreation services & culture (0.6 percent from 0.4 percent) and restaurants and hotels (2.8 percent from 2.7 percent). On the other hand, cost continued to fall for: clothing and footwear (-0.5 percent from -0.4 percent) and communication (-0.5 percent from -0.4 percent).

Annual core inflation edged down to 2.2 percent from 2.3 percent in October. It was the lowest figure since December 2016.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.7 percent, after a 0.2 percent drop in a month earlier and marking the highest level since August. Cost increased for: food & non-alcoholic beverages (0.1 percent); alcoholic beverages & tobacco (0.1 percent); housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels; transport (3.3 percent); communication (-0.2 percent);  health (0.1 percent); recreation services & culture (0.1 percent) and restaurants and hotels (0.2 percent). Meantime, cost was flat for: furnishing, household equipment & routine household maintenance and education. On the other hand, cost declined for clothing and footwear (-0.1 percent).




Wednesday December 06 2017
Malaysia Trade Surplus Largest in 19 Months
Department of Statistics, Malaysia l Chusnul Ch Manan | chusnul@tradingeconomics.com

Malaysia's trade surplus increased to MYR 10.6 billion in October of 2017 from MYR 9.8 billion in the same month of the prior year and beating market estimates of a MYR 8.6 billion surplus.

In October, sales surged by 18.9 percent from a year earlier to MYR 82.4 billion, following a 14.8 percent rise in September and above market consensus of a 18.5 percent growth. It was the twelfth straight month of growth in outbound shipments, driven by electrical & electronic products (16.9 percent to MYR 31.1 billion, 37.7 percent of total exports); liquefied natural gas (6.3 percent to MYR 2.9 billion, 3.6 percent share); refined petroleum products (13.4 percent to MYR 4.9 billion, 5.9 percent share);  timber and timber-based products (6.7 percent to MYR 2 billion, 2.5 percent share); palm oil and palm oil-based products (11.3 percent to MYR 7 billion, 8.5 percent share), and crude petroleum (62.9 percent to MYR 2.9 biilion, 3.5 percent share).
 
Exports to China rose 11.5 percent, followed by those to Singapore (11.3 percent), the US (8 percent), Japan (5.9 percent), and Thailand (4.9 percent).
 
Imports jumped 20.9 percent to MYR 71.9 billion, after a 15.2 percent rise in the prior month while market expected a 20.4 percent growth. It marked the eleventh straight month of increase in inbound shipments, as purchases increased for all categories. Imports of intermediate goods rose 14.8 percent to MYR 38.9 billion, driven by parts & accessories of capital goods, except transport equipment (10.2 percent); industrial supplies, processed (14.8 percent), and fuel & lubricants, processed, others (92 percent). Inbound shipments of capital goods grew by 5.1 percent to MYR 9.2 billion, mainly due to capital goods except transport equipment (23.9 percent). Purchases of consumption goods went up 11.1 percent to MYR 5.9 billion, led by food and beverages, processed mainly for house consumption (18.5 percent), semi-durable (9 percent), and non-durable (10.8  percent).
 
In September 2017, the trade surplus stood at MYR 8.6 billion.
 
 


Friday November 24 2017
Malaysia Inflation Rate Eases to 3.7% in October
Statistics Malaysia | Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Consumer prices in Malaysia rose 3.7 percent from a year earlier in October of 2017, slowing from a 4.3 percent rise in the prior month. The figure came below market consensus of a 4.0 percent increase, 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 less for: food & non-alcoholic beverages (4.4 percent from 4.6 percent in September); furnishings, household equipment & routine maintenance (2.6 percent from 2.8 percent); health (2.4 percent from 2.5 percent) and transport (12.1 percent from 15.8 percent). Cost rose at a faster pace for: restaurants and hotels (2.7 percent from 2.6 percent) and miscellaneous goods & services (1.2 percent from 1.1 percent). Meanwhile, inflation was steady for: housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels (2.4 percent); recreation services & culture (0.4 percent) and education (1.6 percent). On the other hand, cost fell for: clothing and footwear (-0.4 percent from -0.3 percent) and communication (-0.4 percent from -0.3 percent).

Annual core inflation edged down to 2.3 percent from 2.4 percent in September.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices declined by 0.2 percent in October, after a 0.3 percent rise in a month earlier. It was the first drop in consumer prices since July, as cost declined for: food & non-alcoholic beverages (-0.5 percent); clothing and footwear (-0.1 percent); transport (-0.2 percent) and communication (-0.1 percent). In contrast, cost went up for: alcoholic beverages & tobacco (0.1 percent); health (0.1 percent); recreation services & culture (0.1 percent); restaurants and hotels (0.1 percent) and miscellaneous goods & services (0.1 percent). Meantime, cost was flat for: housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels; furnishing, household equipment & routine household maintenance and education.


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.