Growth pace likely quickens in first 3 months
KUALA LUMPUR: Research houses are upbeat on the Malaysian economy, saying that growth pace has quickened during the first three months of this year, thanks to improving external demand.
A Business Times poll expects the first quarter to grow by close to five per cent from 4.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year.
The average growth outlook for the year was 4.51 per cent, well within the official forecast of 4.54.8 per cent for this year.
Bank Negara Malaysia governor Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim will chair a media briefing today on the first quarter gross domestic product (GDP) results.
Maybank Investment Bank said the supply-side indicators suggest a pick up in growth amid faster growth in manufacturing production index and index of services, value of construction works done and rebound in palm oil output.
“On the supply-side indicators, the real GDP growth may surprise on the upside, coming in around five per cent,” the bank added.
Its views were shared by economist Imran Nurginias Ibrahim from BIMB Securities, who noted that external demand has firmed up while the distributive trade (wholesale and retail) performance has also picked up pace.
MIDF Research has projected a “stellar performance”, saying it is due to the stable domestic demand and better performance from the external sector.
HSBC Bank said although expectations are for the economy to grow “a touch faster” than the fourth quarter of last year, in sequential terms, growth moderated 1.1 per cent quarter-on-quarter from 1.4 per cent. Rupa Damodaran