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MALAYSIA’s economy posted a 8.9% in the second quarter (Q2) of 2022 as domestic demand continued to strengthen, underpinned by steady recovery in labour market conditions and policy support.
In a statement today, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) said the higher growth was also reflective of normalising economic activity as the country moved towards Covid-19 endemicity and reopened its borders.
“Exports remain supported by strong demand for electrical and electronics (E&E) products. By sector, the services and manufacturing sectors continued to drive growth,” it said.
While the GDP was lifted to some extent by the low base from the full lockdown in June 2021, the central bank said growth in April and May 2022 was particularly robust.
On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted basis, it said the economy increased by 3.5% as compared to 3.8% in Q1 2022.
During the quarter, BNM said headline and core inflation increased to 2.8% and 2.5%, respectively, compared to 2.2% and 1.7% in Q1, reflecting an improvement in demand conditions amid a high-cost environment, with price increases mainly driven by food costs.,
With the growth in the first half of 2022 at 6.9%, the central bank said the economy is projected to expand further for the remainder of the year.
BNM governor Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus said that while external demand could face headwinds from slower global growth, the Malaysian economy will continue to be supported by firm domestic demand moving forward.
“Growth would also benefit from improving labour market conditions and higher tourist arrivals, as well as continued implementation of multi-year investment projects,” she said.
However, BNM said Malaysia’s growth remains susceptible to weaker-than-expected global growth, further escalation of geopolitical conflicts and worsening supply chain disruptions.
“Headline inflation is projected to trend higher in some months during the remainder of the year, due partly to the base effect from the discount on electricity prices implemented in Q3 2021. Core inflation is expected to average higher in 2022, as demand continues to improve amid the high-cost environment.
“The extent of upside pressures on inflation is expected to remain partly contained by the existing price control measures, fuel subsidies and the continued spare capacity in the economy,” it said.
Nevertheless, BNM said the inflation outlook continues to be contingent on upside risks stemming from the strength of domestic demand, global price developments, and domestic policy measures.