KUALA LUMPUR: Overall Malaysia’s business performance is expected to continue at strong pace given that overall business confidence registered double digit growth for three consecutive quarters, according to the Business Tendency Survey.
MIDF Research said business confidence in the first-quarter of 2018 was at 12.3 per cent, slightly lower than seven-year high of 14 per cent recorded in the previous quarter.
“With continuous optimistic business confidence, we forecast GDP growth for 1Q18 to surge above 5.5 per cent.”
The research house noted that the gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the fourth-quarter (Q4) expanded by 5.9 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y), beating market expectations of 5.8 per cent y-o-y.
This was fueeled by among others, private consumption and private investment which contributef 3.6 per cent and 1.2 per cent respectively due to the robust growth during the quarter.”
On the supply side, services and manufacturing sectors contributed significantly, growing by 3.4 per cent and 1.2 per cent respectively.
“We opine the upbeat momentum in GDP growth was in tandem with steady performances of industrial production, manufacturing sales, distributive trade and external trade during the last lap of 2017.”
It said moderating inflationary pressure, strengthening domestic demand and upbeat external demand are the major anchors driving up GDP performance in overall 2017.
MIDF Research pointed out that the current account balance jumped to RM40.3 billion in 2017 from RM29.0 billion in prior year.
“In the last quarter of 2017, Malaysia’s current account recorded at RM12.9 billion worth of balance of payment compared to RM12.5 billion posted in the previous quarter, reinforcing Malaysia’s position as a net lender.”
The research house said the upsurge was driven by surplus in net goods at RM34.1 billion from RM31.7 billion registered in the preceding quarter.
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s exports advanced 18.9 per cent in 2017 and trade surplus widened by 10.3 per cent to RM97.25 billion.