Archive for the 'Economics' Category

As technology progresses with information becoming richer and more accessible, it is easier and easier to do targeted policy. Governments, especially those with conservative economic leanings compromising with democratic pressures, love targeting because in theory, it is cheaper and it avoids wastage. In fact, going back to basic microeconomics, it might even eliminate deadweight loss. […]

It is that time of the quarter again. The second quarter 2019 GDP will be released by the Department of Statistics next week, on August 16 2019. Malaysia’s 2Q19 industrial production growth so far has been stronger than it was in the first quarter. For illustration, April and May factory output expanded 4.0% year-on-year each. […]

The shifts from SST to GST, and back to SST were controversial. There were debates on its effects on inflation and living costs. While the GST introduction led to a one-time rise in price level and that, I think, has not been widely disputed, the effect of SST reintroduction on price level has been more […]

I do have strong policy preference, and that preference originates from my ideological leanings. But the preference only sets the default position, or more accurately, the initial stance. I am willing to be swayed by data and models but then again, over the years, I have learned data and models can be bent so much […]

There is a kerfuffle about the definition of foreign direct investment, due to the former PM Najib Razak’s messaging and the general public’s unfamiliarity of it. I strongly believe Najib actually understands the nuances of FDI but he is navigating through the somewhat complex definition to score political points with half-truths. Truly, you need to […]

The 2019 first quarter GDP will be out on May 16. Since we live in an age of trigger warning, let us play the game first: The consensus views are that growth for the quarter will be weak, possibly in the lower half of the 4.0%-5.0% range. Some are even betting on something lower. There […]

When the Malaysian consumer price index dipped 0.7% an 0.4% year-on-year in January and February this year, there were hysterical claims that Malaysia was experiencing deflation, never mind that deflation is characterized as persistent decline in prices rather than temporary dip. And never mind that the bad deflation is one associated with decline in demand, […]

Recently, there was a column complaining about taxes on the middle class, claiming the middle class is being overtaxed.[1] The origin of the complaint is easily understood because a slew of measures have announced by the government and those new taxes include departure levy and the imposition of sales and service tax on some digital […]

Now that the dust has settled somewhat and the conditions are now more conducive for rational discussion, I would like to discuss about the nature of the debt and liabilities of the Malaysian government. This an non-accountant view, so pardon the terminology. I know the current government’s approach in the matter has diverged from the […]

The Department of Statistics will be releasing the 2018 fourth quarter GDP statistics tomorrow. I was wrong about expecting the 2018 third quarter GDP growth to quicken based on the faster consumption growth. Consumption growth did rise spectacularly and as stated earlier, there was no austerity. But external pressures prevented overall GDP growth from going […]

Next »