‘Manufacturing sector boost in first quarter’
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s first quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth is likely to be boosted by the manufacturing sector, says Standard Chartered Research.
The Department of Statistics (DOS) will release the Q1 GDP data on Friday.
“We forecast a GDP growth of 4.9 per cent year-on-year, higher than the 4.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year,” said Standard Chartered Research in a note yesterday.
It said industrial production growth was resilient in Q1, with the manufacturing sector growing 5.6 per cent year-on-year versus 5.0 per cent in the Q4, on the back of robust demand for electronics.
“Exports picked up early this year on strong demand in the region, driven primarily by China’s inventory rebuild, as well as higher commodity prices,” it said.
However, the research house said the country’s import growth was surprisingly robust on strong capital goods imports, which led to a slight narrowing of the trade surplus, which may have weighed on GDP growth.
Standard Chartered Research is also of the view that Malaysia’s consumer price index (CPI) inflation may have eased last month. The DOS will release the April CPI data on Wednesday.
“We expect headline inflation to have eased slightly to 4.2 per