KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 10 — Malaysia’s strong economic performance in 2022 clearly underscored global investors’ confidence and the government’s commitment to maintain macroeconomic stability, an economist said.
Earlier today, the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM) said that Malaysia’s economic growth rose to a 22-year record high of 8.7 per cent in 2022 against 3.1 per cent in 2021 due to positive growth in all sectors.
In a separate statement, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) said Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by seven per cent in the fourth quarter of 2022 (4Q 2022) versus 14.2 per cent in 3Q 2022 as support from the stimulus measures and low base effect waned.
Juwai IQI chief economist Shan Saeed said the key drivers for GDP growth included strong domestic demand, investment inflows and solid trade and commerce numbers.
“Malaysia continued to be on global investors’ radar due to macroeconomic stability, productive labour force, modern infrastructure, technology-driven policy approach and strategic geography.
“Overall, from the macro perspective, we stand buoyant on the economic outlook and growth trajectory of the country.
“Malaysia remains one of the leading economies in Asean despite global economic instability and financial fragilities,” he told Bernama, adding that the firm expects Malaysia’s 2023 GDP growth forecast to stand between 4.5 per cent and 5.5 per cent.
Meanwhile, Sunway University economics professor Dr Yeah Kim Leng said the 4Q 2022 GDP data reaffirmed Malaysia’s commendable 2022 performance following below-average growth in 2021, making it among Asia’s fastest-growing economies.
“However, the strong performance although broad-based is uneven across sectors and industries within each sector.
“It also masks unequal gains across income groups that point to the need for further government support for low and lower middle-income households affected by higher inflation and cost of living,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ambank Group said Malaysia’s 2023 economic growth will be supported by domestic factors.
It said private consumption will be the impetus for growth as the labour market improves and inflation stabilises.
“Overall, we expect GDP growth in 2023 to be at 4.5 per cent on the back of 6.1 per cent growth forecast for private consumption,” it said.
RHB Investment Bank Bhd concurs, maintaining its 2023 GDP growth forecast at 4.5 per cent on a cautiously optimistic outlook, supported by resilient domestic demand.
“Consumer spending will be well supported by resilient labour market conditions, albeit at a slower growth momentum due to dissipation of stimulus impact and tightening financial conditions,” it said.
On the other hand, MIDF Research expects Malaysia’s 2023 GDP growth to register at 4.2 per cent in view of external headwinds and tightened monetary policy in many economies.
“The softer growth is mainly due to a deceleration in external trade performance, taking into account an anticipated slowdown in global demand. We foresee a global economic slowdown rather than a recession for 2023,” it said.