Wednesday, 14 February 2018

(NST) Malaysia post 5.9pct GDP growth in 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian economy growth remained strong at 5.9 per cent as of the end of 2017, predominantly driven by private sector spending, according to data released by Bank Negara Malaysia.

The external sector performance also improved a further 5.4 per cent as real import growth moderated faster than real export growth.

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted basis, the economy grew by 0.9 per cent as of 4Q17.

Domestic demand driven by the private sector domestic demand expanded by 6.2 per cent in 4Q17 supported by continued strength in private sector expenditure (7.4 per cent), amid waning support from public sector spending.

Capital spending meanwhile, was supported by continued business optimism and favourable demand, which was evident across both export- and domestic-oriented industries. 

Public consumption also expanded by 6.9 per cent in the 4Q17, mainly driven by higher spending on supplies and services by the Federal Government.

Gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) growth moderated to 4.3 per cent, mainly due to a contraction in public investment.

On the supply side, most economic sectors recorded a moderate expansion, except for the agriculture sector, while growth in the mining sector declined.

However, growth in the finance and insurance sub-sector improved, supported by lower insurance claims and sustained banking activity.

Growth for the information and communication sub-sector continued to be underpinned by high demand for data communication and computer services.

Manufacturing sector growth eased during the quarter, reflecting a broad-based moderation in both export- and domestic-oriented industries.

Headline inflation moderated slightly to 3.5 per cent in the final quarter due mainly to lower inflation in the housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels and transport categories.

Core inflation also declined during the fourth quarter quarter to 2.3 per cent.