The Malaysian economy advanced 5.9 percent year-on-year in the December quarter of 2017, compared to a 6.2 percent growth in the previous three months and beating market consensus of a 5.7 percent expansion. Private consumption, investment, and exports increased at softer paces while government spending accelerated. For full 2017, the economy grew 5.9 percent, the most in three years.
In the fourth quarter, private consumption increased by 7 percent year-on-year, following a 7.2 percent rise in the previous period, supported by purchases of food & non-alcoholic beverages, communication, restaurant & hotel and housing & utilities. In addition, gross fixed capital formation expanded 4.3 percent, much slower than a 6.7 percent growth in the preceding quarter, due to the moderation in machinery & equipment and other asset. Exports grew by 7.1 percent, lower than a 11.8 percent rise in the September quarter. Imports advanced 7.4 percent, compared to a 13.4 percent rise in the previous three months. Meantime, goverment spending rose 6.9 percent, faster than a 3.9 percent increase in the prior three months.
On the production side, the growth slowed for services (6.2 percent vs 6.6 percent in Q3), manufacturing (5.4 percent vs 7 percent) and construction (5.8 percent vs 6.1 percent). Also, the mining & quarrying sector shrank 0.5 percent after growing 3.1 percent in Q3. On the positive note, the agriculture sector grew by 10.7 percent, compared to a 4.1 percent increase in Q3.
Moving forward, the economic is expected to remain strong in 2018, boosted by domestic demand. Meanwhile, exports are expected to continue benefiting from the favourable global demand conditions. Headline inflation is expected to moderate in 2018, reflcting a smaller contribution from global factors and a stronger ringgit compared to 2017.
On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted basis, the economy grew by 0.9 percent, the weakest growth since the first quarter of 2016, slower than a 1.8 percent growth in the previous period.
For full year 2017 the economy grew 5.9 percent, the most in three years.
2/14/2018 3:21:09 PM