Stronger growth likely in Jan­uary

New Straits Times - - Business -

KUALA LUMPUR: Ex­ports likely chalked up stronger growth in Jan­uary on the back of stronger com­mod­ity prices.

Ac­cord­ing to economists, ex­ports likely rose by 15.9 per cent and im­ports by an av­er­age of 12.8 per cent. The trade bal­ance likely av­er­aged RM8.69 bil­lion.

The In­ter­na­tional Trade and In­dus­try Min­istry will re­lease the data to­day.

Stan­dard Char­tered Bank econ­o­mist Ed­ward Lee ex­pects ex­ports to re­main ro­bust on ris­ing com­mod­ity prices.

“We ex­pect ex­ports to have re­turned a strong print, in­creas­ing 17.5 per cent year-on-year versus 10.7 per cent in De­cem­ber, in line with the re­cent pick-up in ex­port growth in the re­gion.”

Ex­port growth, he added, con­tin­ued to be driven by low com­mod­ity prices and healthy de- mand from key des­ti­na­tions like China and Sin­ga­pore.

“With higher ex­port growth an in­creas­ing con­sen­sus, we ex­pect vol­ume per­for­mance to be more sig­nif­i­cant go­ing for­ward.”

Im­ports may be slower, he said, adding that a slow­down in growth from Novem­ber to De­cem­ber was ex­pected.

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