Blog Archives

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 […]

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 […]

Apart from the slowdown in consumption, I was wrong. The Malaysian GDP grew 4.9% from a year ago, considerably higher than what I thought it would be at 4.1%-4.2% YoY. Still, economic growth is decelerating quite drastically. Trade surplus did not improve as exports contracted worse than imports, and not the other way round as I wrote […]

The Malaysian GDP figures for the 2015 second quarter will be out next week on Thursday. I think it will be bad because of how the GST has hit consumption. This will be the focus next week as people write out their commentary. I am a believer of the frontloading theory but admittedly there are some problems with it as […]

There is something quite weird going on in the imports data. In the last quarter, we all know we had GST for the first time. It replaced an older consumption tax. After all have been said and done, the effective rate was higher than it was under the old regime. That means higher tax. You could also […]

From time to time, economic statistics get revised. Usually statisticians require a lot of time to compile data and in that mad rush, certain data could left out first and included only later when everybody gets a chance to reflect. There is nothing structural about the revision. It is just about errors, corrections and business […]

The Malaysian GDP figures released yesterday suggest there was indeed a pre-GST spending spree. Private consumption growth was phenomenal especially if you consider the fact that previous quarterly growth figures have been slowly dropping gradually over the past year from 8% year-on-year to all the way down to mid-6% in the third quarter of 2014. The […]

The Malaysian federal government appears committed to cutting its fiscal deficit down to 3.0% of NGDP by 2015 (from 3.9% in 2013) and then balancing it by 2020. I think the 2015 target is achievable, especially with the GST coming in next year. As for the 2020 goal, that is far into the future to matter right now (in […]

I was optimistic that the 4Q13 GDP figures would be strong. I was betting on export recovery while mindful that other components, mostly consumption growth, might slow down. Indeed export growth recovered. But trade surplus was not as strong I thought it would. Still, the prospect of Malaysia experiencing a trade deficit is unlikely. The […]

The GDP in the third quarter grew respectably at 5.0% from the same quarter last year. I think it is the most satisfying growth in a long time. I have not checked for the base effect but consumption grew strongly and net exports did well. It was a plain old growth in the simplest terms, […]

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