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Economic News


Malaysian Economic News… (28 Feb 2013)

Malaysia attracted RM162.4bn in approved investments last year
(RM154.6bn in 2011), which is the highest amount of investments ever despite
the uncertain global economic conditions, said Minister of International
Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed. Of the total
investments approved, RM127.6bn (78%) were contributed by domestic
investments (DDI) and RM34.8bn (22%) came from foreign investments.
Of the total investments approved, services accounted for 72.4%
(RM117.6bn), manufacturing was 25.3% (RM41bn) while primary
sectors were at 2.3% (RM3.8bn).
The investments approved were in 6,442 projects and are expected to
generate 182,841 job opportunities. (Bernama)
Malaysia recorded RM139.5bn in realised private investment last year,
surpassing by 9.1% the targeted investment of RM127.9bn, Minister of
International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said.
Compared with 2011,the realised private investment grew 24.8% from
RM111.8bn, he said. The government expects to maintain the investment growth
at above 20% for this year. (Bernama, Malaysian Reserve)

Malaysian Economic News… (4 Feb 2013)

Bank Negara Malaysia has maintained the overnight policy rate (OPR) at
3% with its monetary policy committee (MPC) considering the current policy to
be supportive of the economy while inflation remained contained. The decision
was expected by all economists. It said in addition to domestic conditions, the
MPC would continue to carefully assess the global economic and financial
developments and their implications on the overall outlook for inflation and
growth of the Malaysian economy. (Starbiz)
Broad money (M3) expanded at annual rate of 8.8% in Dec (10.7% in Nov).
Net financing to the private sector grew by 12.5% yoy (12.3% in Nov) and the
loan outstanding growth eased to 10.4% yoy from 11.2% in Nov. (Starbiz)
The producer price index (PPI) fell 5% yoy in Dec (-3.4% in Nov). PPI for
local production dropped by 7.1% (-4.7% in Nov) while the import price index
increased by 0.3% in Dec (-0.3% in Nov). (Starbiz)

Malaysian Economic News… (10 Jan 2013)

Gross exports rose 3.3% yoy (-3.2% in Oct) while gross imports went up
4.3% yoy (+5.7% in Oct), leaving a trade surplus of RM9.3bn in Nov (RM9.6bn
in Oct). Economists had projected the exports would increase by 1.9% yoy in
Nov. For the first eleven months of 2012, exports and imports rose 1.3% and
7.1% respectively, resulting in a cumulative trade surplus of RM87.1bn.
(Department of Statistics, BT)

Malaysian Economic News… (30 Nov 2012)

Malaysia is expected to register real GDP growth of 5.1% in 2012 and 5% in
2013, according to World Bank’s Malaysia Economic Monitor launched
Thursday. As propelled by domestic demand, the economy is likely to weather a
weak global environment and grow robustly in the next year. The report also
noted that strengthening structural reforms is the key to ensuring the positive
growth momentum carries into the medium-term. (Bernama)

Malaysian Economic News… (1 Nov 2012)

The annual growth of broad money (M3) moderated to 12.5% in Sep (13.9% inAug). Net financing to the private sector grew 12.8% in Sep (12.6% in Aug),driven by higher issuances of private debt securities (PDS). Total outstanding loan growth slowed to 12% yoy in Sep (12.3% in Aug). (BT)

Producer price index (PPI) declined 1.2% mom in Sep (+0.1% mom in Aug).This was due to the decrease in the PPI for local production by 1.7% mom (+0.2% in Aug) and the import price index by 0.1% mom (-0.4% in Aug). On yoy
comparison, PPI for domestic economy declined by 1.3% (+0.5% in Aug) and the local production index dropped by 2% (-0.9% in Aug) while the import price index rose by 0.4% (+0.9% in Aug). (BT)
Malaysian Economic News… (25 Oct 2012)
The leading index (LI), which monitors the economic performance in advance,
rose 2% yoy in Aug (2.3% yoy in Jul). The coincident index (CI), which
measures the current economic activity, up 1.6% yoy from 0.2% yoy in Jul while
the lagging index increased 3.5% yoy in Aug (2.3% yoy in Jul). Conversely, the
level of Diffusion Index for both LI and CI showed below 50% for the first time
in 2012. (Department of Statistics)

Retail industry grew by 5.9% in 2Q12 but was much lower than the 11.7%
growth forecast by retailers compiled in Aug. The growth is, however, slightly
better than the 5.5% forecast by Retail Group Malaysia (RGM), said its MD
Tan Hai Hsin.

Malaysian Economic News… (12 Oct 2012)

Industrial production index (IPI) declined by 0.7% yoy in Aug (+2.9% n Jul)
due to the decrease of manufacturing index (-1.8% vs. +6% in Jul). However, the
mining and electricity indexes registered an increase of 1.6% and 2.7%
respectively (vs. -5.7% and +2.8% respectively in Jul). Economists had projected
the IPI would decline by 1.3% yoy in Aug. 8M12 IPI rose 3.4% (0.6% in 8M11).
(Department of Statistics, BT)
The manufacturing sales increased by 1.8% yoy to RM51bn in Aug (+4.8% to
RM52.3bn in Jul). On a mom basis, the sales value however, decreased by 2.4%
(-0.9% in Jul). In 8M12, the sales rose 5.8% to RM414bn (+10.9% to RM391.1bn
in 8M11).
Total employees engaged in the manufacturing sector rose 1% yoy to
1.024m persons in Aug (+0.6% to 1.029m persons in Jul).
Total salaries & wages paid in Aug rose 5.6% to RM2.4bn (+3.8% to
RM2.5bn in Jul).
Average salaries & wages per employee up 4.6% yoy to RM2,391 (+3.2%
to RM2,422 in Jul).
Productivity increased by 0.8% yoy in Aug (+4.2% in Jul). (Department
of Statistics)

Malaysian Economic News… (5 Oct 2012)
The government plans to reduce corporate taxes in the short to medium term
to raise the country’s competitiveness as an attractive global business
destination, said PM Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. He said introducing a
lower corporate tax regime in the future will ensure companies have more
income for reinvestment to grow their businesses – a move which will further
improve the dynamics and competitiveness of the country’s private sector.
Malaysia’s corporate tax is currently at 25% (vs. 26% in 2008 and 27% in 2007),
similar to Indonesia’s, while Singapore’s rate is at 17%, Thailand at 23% and
Hong Kong at 16.5%. (Financial Daily)

Malaysian Economic News… (1 Oct 2012)
The annual growth in broad money (M3) expanded 14% in Aug (13.5% in
Jul). Net financing to the private sector grew at a slower pace of 12.7% in Aug
(13.2% in Jul) due to a moderation in  outstanding loans in the banking
system (+12.3% vs. +13% in Jul). (Bank Negara Malaysia)

The Ministry of Finance’s annual economic report for 2013 released
last Friday forecast improved economic growth, lower government spending
and a narrower budget deficit. The report’s release coincides with PM Datuk
Seri Najib Razak’s announcement of the Budget for 2013.

  • The government expects the economy to grow by 4.5-5.5% in 2013, slightly better than the 4.5-5.0% growth projected for 2012.
  • The budget will allocate RM225bn for development projects, programmes and measures. Of this, RM202bn is operating expenditure while the rest is development expenditure.
  • The stronger growth is expected to boost revenues and allow the country to lower its  budget deficit to 4% of GDP in 2013 from a revised shortfall of 4.5% this year (vs. 4.7% previously).
  • It expects a 2-3% inflation rate for 2013.

Malaysian Economic News… (3 Sept 2012)

Broad money (M3) expanded 13.5% yoy in Jul (12.8% in Jun). Net financing
to the private sector grew 13.2% yoy in Jul (13% in Jun) due to higher growth in
outstanding banking system loans (13% vs. 12.6% in Jun). (Bank Negara
Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said the
highly accommodative monetary policy environment has generated higher
global liquidity. It has contributed to the recent surges in capital flows to
emerging economies.
 “These inflows have resulted in significant strengthening of our currencies,
rising asset prices, credit growth and for some, overheating conditions in
our economy. This has been partially offset by deleveraging in developed
economies,” she said.
 “For an open economy where exports are more than 150% of GDP, that has
consequences on our economy,” she added.
 For emerging Asian economies “an important policy shift is to rebalance
our economies and diversify our sources of growth” and “promote domestic
demand, in particular domestic consumption”, she said.
 The growth of Asia’s domestic banks had “allowed the financial
intermediation process to continue without disruption during the recent
global financial crisis”. Emerging Asian economies will “continue to be
vulnerable” to these global shocks. “To be in a better state of readiness and
to withstand these eventualities, the policy priorities are therefore to build
resilience,” she said. (Starbiz)
Bank Negara is projecting foreign currency inflows amounting to
RM12.88bn or US$4.12bn in the next 12 months due to interest income and the
drawdown of project loans. The central bank said in a statement that in the next
12 months, the predetermined short-term outflows of foreign currency
loans would amount to RM1.07bn arising from scheduled repayments of
external borrowings by the government.
 Data showed that only contingent short-term net drain on foreign currency
assets are the government’s guarantees of foreign debt due within one year,
amounting to RM351.2m.
 The central bank said that long forward positions amounted to RM21.4bn
as at end-Jul 2012.

Malaysian Economic News… (9 Aug 2012)

The Malaysian economy expanded by 5.4% yoy in 2Q12 (4.9% in 1Q12)
driven by stronger domestic demand (13.8% vs. 9.7% in 1Q12). Economists had
projected for a 4.6% gain. On a qoq basis, real GDP rose 3% (-3% in 1Q12). In
1H12, the economy expanded 5.1% (5.5% in 2H11). (Bernama. BT)

Malaysia‟s overall balance of payments posted a RM12.7bn surplus in 2Q12
(-RM7.2bn in 1Q12). The current account balance recorded a slower surplus
of RM9.6bn in 2Q12 (RM18.1bn in 1Q12) while the financial account turned
around to a net inflow of RM5.4bn (-RM10.3bn in 1Q12). (Bernama,
Department of Statistics) The consumer price index (CPI) increased 1.4% yoy in July (1.6% in Jun), in
line with marke

Malaysian Economic News… (9 Aug 2012)
Exports rose 5.4% yoy in Jun (6.7% in May) while imports increased 3.6% yoy
(16.2% in May), leaving a trade surplus of RM9.2bn (+RM4.6bn in May).
Economists had projected exports would advance by 3.5% yoy and imports
would increase 8.5% yoy in Jun. In 6M12, exports and imports grew 4.2% and
8% respectively, leaving a cumulative trade surplus of RM51.1bn. (BT)

Malaysian Economic News… (1 Aug 2012)
The annual growth in broad money (M3) moderated to 12.8% in Jun (+13.2%
in May). Net financing to the private sector expanded by RM26.5bn or 13%
yoy in Jun (+RM21.7bn or 13% in May). Total banking system loans
increased by 12.6% yoy in Jun (+12.5% in May). (Bank Negara Malaysia)

Malaysian Economic News… (25 July 2012)

According to the website of the Putrajaya Committee on GLCs (PCG), GLCs make up 36 per cent of Bursa’s total market capitalisation and a significant 54 per cent of the benchmark FBM KLCI index. (Click news source)

Malaysian Economic News… (12 July 2012)

Industrial production index (IPI) rose 7.6% yoy in May (+3.2% in Apr), beating economists’ estimate of 4.8%. The uptrend in May was due to the rise in the manufacturing (6.5%), mining (11.5%) and electricity (6.6%) indices. On a monthly basis, the IPI was up by 3.5% (-5.2% in Apr). In Jan-May, IPI increased 4.1% yoy.

(Bernama, BT)

The manufacturing sales rose 10% yoy to RM52.5bn in May (+5.3% to RM52.4bn in Apr). On a month-on-month basis, the sales value also increased by 0.2% (-5.2% in Apr). In Jan-May, the sales increased 7% to register RM258.5bn.
Total employees engaged in the manufacturing sector rose 0.3% yoy to 1.025m persons in May (+0.7% to 1.027m persons in Apr).

Salaries & wages paid in May increased 10.7% yoy to RM2.54bn  (+10.3% to RM2.57bn in Apr).

Average salaries & wages per employee up 10.3% yoy to RM2,475 (+9.5% to RM2,501 in Apr).

Productivity rose 9.7% yoy (+4.6% in Apr). (Department of Statistics)

Malaysian Economic News… (5 July 2012)
Exports increased 6.7% yoy in May (-0.1% in Apr), above the market
expectation of 5.5%. Imports surged 16.2% yoy (10.2% in Apr), leaving a trade
surplus of RM4.6bn in May (+RM7.5bn in Apr). (BT)

Malaysian Economic News… (2 July 2012)

The annual growth in broad money (M3) moderated to 13.2% in May from
15% in Apr.  Net financing to the private sector expanded by RM22.3bn or
13.1% in May (+RM6.1bn or 12.8% in Apr).  Total loans outstanding rose
12.5% yoy in May (12.1% in Apr). (Bank Negara Malaysia)

 Malaysian Economic News… (28 May 2012)

The government is optimistic the economy will grow by 5% or more supported
by strong domestic consumption despite the slowdown in the export sector, said
Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah. He
said the optimism was based on the 4.7% growth recorded in 1Q12.

Ahmad Husni also said crisis-hit Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal and
Ireland contribute 0.7% or RM1.2bn of Malaysia’s total exports.
Although Malaysia is reeling from the effect of the crisis on other Asian
countries, yet domestic initiatives will be stepped up via government
expenditure as outlined in the 2012 Budget, he added. (Bernama)

 Malaysian Economic News… (24 May 2012)

Economic Update – 1Q12 GDP – Hurdles along the way Domestic demand continues to keep the economy afloat, helping to buffer the  weak export engine. Real GDP expanded 4.7% yoy in 1Q12 with still-respectable consumer spending carrying the growth baton. We keep our 3.8% growth estimate this year for now given

1) renewed eurozone debt fears, and

2) weak high frequency data for the US and China.

If conditions in the eurozone deteriorate more rapidly than expected, there could be sharper declines in global asset markets and risk appetite. The spillover would dampen domestic consumer and business sentiments.

Malaysian Economic News… (22 May 2012)

Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) international reserves amounted to
US$136.1bn (RM417.5bn) as at 15 May, up slightly from US$135.9bn
(RM416.9bn) as at 30 Apr. The reserves were enough to finance 9.3 months of
retained imports and were 4.1 times the short-term external debt. (BNM)
GDP growth for 1Q12, which will be announced today, is expected to be
around 4-5%, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri
Nor Mohamed Yakcop.

Data collected over several months also suggest
positive results for 2Q12, he said. However, he said, the current economic crisis
in Europe was a bit worrying and could have an impact on Malaysia’s economic
growth. (Bernama)

Malaysia will find it “very tough” to meet its initial 6-7% GDP growth target
this year as top trade partners for its export-oriented economy continue to
struggle, Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Husni Hanadzlah said
yesterday. The government would instead focus on the central bank’s revised
target of 4-5%, which is lower than the growth of 7.2% in 2010 and 5.1% in 2011,
he said.
He also said that China’s growth suddenly cooling amid stuttering
recovery in the US and the persistent euro-zone crisis will affect
Malaysia’s trade but the quantum is not yet known.
He added that projections for 2012 had already factored in the
possibility of a Greek default which will send shockwaves throughout

Besides that, he has called for a study on the impact of the eurozone
debt crisis on Malaysia’s GDP.
He said there is a need to review current global developments.
(Malaysian Insider, Bernama)

Malaysian Economic News… (16 May 2012)

Malaysia recorded a 12% yoy jump in approved investments in the
manufacturing sector to RM15.1bn in 1Q12 (RM13.5bn in 1Q11), said
Malaysian Investment Development. Of the total, domestic investment formed
the bulk with RM9.2bn.

  • Japan topped the list of foreign investors with RM1.2bn investments, followed by France (RM693m) and Singapore (RM665.5m). and chemical products industry received the lion’s share of the investments with RM6.5bn followed by a distant second from transport equipment (RM2.8bn) and electrical and electronic (E&E) products (RM1.2bn). (BT)

Malaysian Economic News… (11 May 2012)

Industrial production index (IPI) increased 0.6% yoy in Mar (8.2% yoy in
Feb), which came in below economists’ expectations of a 1.8% gain. The
manufacturing production rose 2%, mining output dropped 4.1% while the
electricity output increased 4.9%. On a mom basis, IPI rose 5% (0.1% in Feb). In
1Q12, IPI up by 2.9% (2.7% in 4Q11). (Bernama, BT)

1. The manufacturing sales rose 3.1% yoy to RM54.6bn in Mar (+12.1% to
RM49.6bn in Feb). On a mom basis, it increased 10.1% (1.7% in Feb). In 1Q12,
sales up 6.2% yoy to RM152.9bn (+6.4% to RM148.1bn in 4Q11).
2. Total employees engaged in the manufacturing sector dropped 0.2% yoy
to 1.027m persons in Mar (+0.9% to 1.029m persons in Feb).
3. Salaries & wages paid in Mar soared 17.1% yoy to RM2.7bn (+7.2% to
RM2.5bn in Feb).
4. Average salaries & wages per employee rose 17.3% yoy to RM2,637 in
Mar (+6.2% to RM2,392 in Feb).
5. Productivity increased 3.3% yoy to RM53,132 in Mar (+11% to
RM48,166 in Feb). (Department of Statistics)

The Malaysian economy is expected to grow by a slower 4.5% this year (5.1%
in 2011 and 7.2% in 2010) due to weaker external demand, according to the
United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the
Pacific (ESCAP). The fiscal deficit remained at around 5.6% of GDP in 2011
after declining from 7% in 2009 to 5.6% in 2010, ESCAP said. This was largely
due to wide ranging subsidies on the expenditure side and delayed introduction
of the goods and services tax (GST) on the revenue side, which remains heavily
reliant on oil revenue, it added. (Bernama)

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