Malaysia GDP growth steady, says IBC Assets

KUALA LUMPUR (12 Nov): IBC Assets yesterday released its Q3 GDP growth forecast at 4.7 per cent based on current developments and indicators.

While the trade front remains subdued, the low overnight policy rate, low inflationary pressure, and growing consumption and capital expenditure all point to steady growth this quarter, says Dr Serge Pierre Besanger, who is IBC’s head of research.

Malaysia’s exports shrank 6.8% in September from a year earlier, their biggest fall in 3years, while imports grew 2.4%. Exports to China were negatively affected, at -3% year-onyear, with GDP growth there weakest in 27 years.

But exports to the U.S. grew by 6.6%. The trade surplus in September narrowed to 8.3 billion ringgit ($2 billion) from 10.9 billion ringgit in the previous month.

However, notes Besanger, palm oil prices have recently reached a 52-week high.

In addition, Goods and Services Tax (GST) refund payments have been fully paid to businesses and private consumers, hence boosting consumption. But this positive effect is likely to be temporary and it will not last beyond Q3, warns Besanger, who warns of slower consumption ahead.

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