Tight­en­ing of the belt

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - BIZ -

Eco­nomic is­sues, both lo­cally and glob­ally, took cen­tre stage in 2013. On the do­mes­tic front, Barisan na­sional’s re­turn to power in the most fiercely-fought GE in May was a turn­ing point for the stock mar­ket, ral­ly­ing to sev­eral new highs af­ter that to emerge as the best per­form­ing bourse in the re­gion at the close of the year. Fis­cal dis­ci­pline was the key theme in this year’s bud­get, which saw less pop­u­lar mea­sures an­nounced to re­duce the bud­get deficit and ad­dress the shrink­ing trade sur­plus. Mov­ing for­ward, the year 2014 would be much about ad­min­is­ter­ing the bit­ter medicine of re­forms and for con­sumers a year of tight­en­ing of the belt.

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