The Malaysian economy grew by 3.3% in the third quarter of 2023 compared to 2.9% in Q2’23 on the back of resilient domestic demand. This contrasts with the 14.2% growth recorded in the third quarter of 2022.
In the quarter under review, household spending remained supported by continued growth in employment and wages. Meanwhile, investment activity was underpinned by the progress of multi – year projects and capacity expansion by firms.
However, exports remained soft amid prolonged weakness in external demand. This was partially offset by the recovery in inbound tourism.
On the supply side, the services, construction, and agriculture sectors remained supportive of growth. This was partly offset by the decline in production in the manufacturing sector given the weakness in demand for electrical and electronic (E&E) products and lower production of refined petroleum products.
On a quarter – on – quarter seasonally adjusted basis, the economy grew by 2.6% (2Q 2023: 1.5%). Overall, the Malaysian economy expanded by 3.9% in the first three quarters of 2023.
Going forward, the central bank said that growth will remain resilient despite external headwinds on account of firm domestic demand.
BNM Governor Datuk Abdul Rasheed Ghaffour says, “Despite the challenging global environment, the Malaysian economy is projected to expand by around 4% in 2023 and 4% – 5% in 2024. Growth will continue to be driven by the expansion in domestic demand amid steady employment and income prospects, particularly in domestic – oriented sectors. This growth performance along with other favorable economic developments would provide support to the ringgit.”
Improvements in tourist arrivals and spending are expected to continue. Investment will be supported by further progress of multi-year infrastructure projects and the implementation of catalytic initiatives. Measures under Budget 2024 will also provide additional impetus to economic activity. The growth outlook remains subject to downside risks stemming primarily from weaker than-expected external demand as well as larger and more protracted declines in commodity production. However, there are upside risk factors such as stronger – than – expected tourism activity, a stronger recovery from the E&E downcycle, and faster implementation of existing and new investment projects.
- The Sun Daily