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 on quarterly basis might be off for now.

Nonetheless, it does not take much effort to look into the latest data.

And I cannot find much stuff to celebrate.

The full industrial production index for the first quarter is not out yet but for February, production grew only 3.9% YoY. Remember, 2016 is a leap year and in essence, people produced more this year compared to the last just because of the extra day. So normalized growth will be lower than that. At the same time, with all the heatwave going on, I think we also need to discount electricity production spike. It is very likely the electricity generated mostly went into cooling purposes instead of for manufacturing. My electricity bill spiked by about 100% in March. Some of my friends had it worse.

February 2016

I am unsure how much the electricity generation surge is due to mining growth recovery (is it a recovery?) however. I can run a regression model I suppose, but meh. Looking at the lines alone can tell you much about the correlation.

The new core inflation published by the Department of Statistics appears stable, suggesting consumption growth might be stable too. But who knows. With the way economy is going, there might be enough slack that increased economic activities would not affect inflation much. Import expansion for the quarter was uninspiring as well, pointing to the possibility that the economy did not go far enough toward fulfilling its potential. Stable (and low?) inflation and weak import growth mean weak consumption growth.

Export growth is also not convincing by the way.

Government spending growth might be hurting. For most of the first quarter, Brent prices were below $40 per barrel and the government really wanted to cut its deficit still. Things might be better in 2Q16, but not before as far as public expenditure is concerned.

In the end, I think growth might be about the same as the last one. Might be slightly slower too for all I know. In 4Q15, the Malaysian RGDP grew 4.5% YoY.

Maybe you know better?

The Department of Statistics will release Malaysia’s GDP figures on Friday, May 13.

How fast do you think did the Malaysian economy grow in 1Q16 from a year ago?

  • 3.0% or slower (8%, 1 Votes)
  • 3.1%-3.5% (8%, 1 Votes)
  • 3.6%-4.0% (23%, 3 Votes)
  • 4.1%-4.5% (54%, 7 Votes)
  • 4.6%-5.0% (8%, 1 Votes)
  • 5.1%-5.5% (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Faster than 5.5% (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 13

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