Archive for the 'Economics' Category

I have been slacking off a little bit. My models have not been updated as frequently as it should. Reason is, one fine March day, something wiped the models out. Electrons arranged neatly disintegrated into disorder, destroying the microfoundations (heh!) of my models. I have backup files, but updating them is a tedious exercise. So, my projections, especially […]

Bank Negara Malaysia does not publish the minutes to its Monetary Policy Committee meetings, unlike the Federal Reserve in the United States. This keeps the rationale behind rate-setting decisions murky to outsiders sometimes. A few economists in the past several years have bugged the governor on the matter. Acquaintance Jason Fong from RAM Ratings yesterday asked Zeti whether BNM […]

Capital accumulation as an idea sits close to the center of modern economic growth theory. Any introduction into the field will begin with physical capital accumulation, before population growth, technological progress, human capital and even institutions are progressively thrown into the mix to explain the real world. As far as modern macroeconomics is concerned, I […]

The 4Q15 GDP figures came out better than my expectation. I had projected about 4.3% YoY but the official figure came slightly higher at 4.5% YoY. However, it is still an overall slowdown as warned earlier. But there is a good news here. The blue line in the chart above representing consumption growth picked up. That is a green shoot, a […]

The Department of Statistics will release the GDP figures for the last quarter of 2015 tomorrow. I fear we will see the ugliest numbers within the past three years, if we are lucky. It will not be a contraction but for a country like Malaysia — a young population which suggests strong potential growth — anything […]

Powder kegs that are too close to the fire. That is the situation in Kuantan right now. Local residents frustrated by the rampant bauxite pollution are beginning to take matters into their own hands. Threats have been made and carried out. Trucks carrying the mineral burned by the angry mob. Vigilantism is on the rise. […]

Race politics dominates Malaysia and our deplorable politics have us Malaysians as Bumiputras, Chinese, Indians and others. At the center of it all is Malay politics. Yet, public statistics on Malay welfare are imprecise. This is true for household income and expenditure surveys conducted and published by the Department of Statistics. The surveys are the most […]

Growth in 2Q15 was bad but we know it due to the GST with all the front-loading spending. The question now is, was the GST largely the one exerting negative pressure on growth? In a very superficial way, growth should rebound in 3Q15 if the answer to the question is in the affirmative because it suggests consumption […]

Text to the Transpacific Partnership came out today. I have yet to go through it fully. It is massive and it can be technical. It is worse than Sejarah Melayu. It will take time. Nevertheless, I attended a briefing at the trade ministry earlier today and I think I understand the gist of the most important chapters. My somewhat […]

Unlike cabbies whose occupation is mostly driving (save for the minority), most Uber drivers drive part-time. I have had engineers, civil servants, doctorate students and advertising people as my Uber driver. That occupational diversity makes conversation during an Uber ride much more interesting than that during a typical taxi journey. I have heard fascinating tidbits across […]

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