Malaysia Q4 GDP growth led by consumption, exports; slower for 2018

15, Feb. 2019

KUALA LUMPUR, NNA - Malaysia's economy grew 4.7 percent in the October-December quarter from a year earlier, led by resilient private consumption and a rebound in exports.

Bank Negara Malaysia, the central bank, released Q4 gross domestic product data on Thursday.

Key points:

――GDP growth picked up in Q4 in line with economist forecasts, after slowing to 4.4 percent in July-September from 4.5 percent in April-June and 5.4 percent in January-March.

――Q4 growth was led by the services and manufacturing sectors.

――Commodities-related sectors continued to recover from production disruptions since Q2, with higher growth in the mining and agricultural sectors.

――For the whole of 2018, GDP expanded 4.7 percent, with the pace of growth decelerating from 5.9 percent in 2017.

Takeaway:

――Slowing economic growth in China amid the lingering U.S. trade dispute is stunting regional and global demand for semiconductors and other electronics goods.

――The central bank expects the Malaysian economy to remain on a “steady growth path,” supported by private-sector demand, while external demand is “likely to soften” in light of slower growth globally.

――Economists expect Bank Negara to maintain its accommodative policy for the time being as it sees underlying inflation stable this year.