Archive for the 'Economics' Category

It is the final GDP release before the year goes to the dogs! The Department of Statistics will announce the fourth quarter figures tomorrow at noon. Before that, let us play a game: For some context, the year 2017 was a pretty good year for GDP growth. It came after a pretty bad two-year period […]

It is fashionable in certain circles these days in Malaysia to question the reliability of GDP as a measure of welfare. They say they do not feel GDP growth and they prefer something like household income or wage statistics to a measure that is hard to understand. The more extreme criticism goes to claim GDP […]

The Malaysian GDP has been growing strongly so far this year. So strong, that a lot of economists and institutions had to revise their 2017 projections significantly. The growth has been partly due to consumption recovery that took a tumble thanks to the GST, and partly due to strong trade figures (though this is true […]

There were a lot of talks about the budget recently. About those by the opposition and by the government. The opposition may have to improve on its budget quality especially on the assumptions made, but I believe the annual tabling of such alternative is healthy and is a positive development in our increasingly flawed democracy. […]

Some opposition politicians and supporters are prone to exaggerate when it comes to economic matters. Malaysia is bankrupt, there is no income growth, etc. Those exaggerations make it easy for the Barisan Nasional government to disprove those allegations. But in its eagerness to do so, the government oftentimes denies that any problem even exists. This […]

Bruce Gale wrote a piece in the Straits Times defending Najib’s economic policy recently. While I do agree with on points like subsidy removal, I┬áhave several issues with the article. The one I take the most exception is his claim that the goods and services tax (GST) was needed because Malaysians were avoiding income tax, […]

Bank Negara Malaysia is having none of it. They are tired of people blaming them (too much) for the generally weak residential property market in the country. In its 1Q17 Quarterly Statistical Bulletin, BNM wrote housing loan approval rate over the past few years had not fallen, citing statistics that 74.2% of all applications were […]

The first quarter 2017 Malaysian GDP figures will be out on May 19. So… Industrial production in 1Q17 did not grow as strongly as it did in the previous quarter. Nevertheless, manufacturing had swell of a time. Trade figures were very good, with both goods exports and imports grew double digits, which indicates both the […]

In the past week or so, there were several news reports stating that Malaysia was regressing backward relative to the high-income country GNI benchmark of $15,000 per person by 2020. The Economic Planning Unit showed the figure fell to $9,291 in 2015 and to $8,821 in 2016, from $10,677 in 2014.[1] From the figures alone, […]

One of the better things Malaysia experienced on the policy front is the abolition of fuel subsidy and the introduction of targeted/conditional cash transfer as a replacement. While the mean-tested nature of the transfer has been less the ideal (due to loose conditions) and appears uncorrelated to what the subsidy would have been (its discretionary […]

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