Archive for the 'Economics' Category

The gig economy can be many things but within the realm of ridesharing, I see it primarily as a shock absorber in the labor market. That means ridesharing is a temporary fall back plan if you have trouble in the formal market or in between jobs. Here is an example of ridesharing as a shock […]

September was not a pretty month for Malaysian exports. Exports for the month fell 6.8% from a year ago. When seasonally-adjusted, it still dropped 3.6% month-on-month. The decline was definitely caused by lower export volume, which points towards weaker global demand. But we know this already: trade war is bad for Malaysia. Once it gets […]

It was a hobby of sort of mine to attend public forums (fora?) a long time ago when I had time to kill. The late 2000s was a period of flourishing of civil society, and there were plenty of forums going on all around KL, from the most mundane to the most seditious. At one […]

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, […]

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