New Straits Times
MINISTRY CONFIDENT OF 4.8-4.9PC GROWTH FOR 2018
Manufacturing will continue to drive country’s exports and economy, says deputy minister
THE International Trade and Industry Ministry is confident of Malaysia reporting between 4.8 and 4.9 per cent growth for last year.
Deputy minister Dr Ong Kian Ming said the manufacturing sector would continue to drive the country’s exports and economy despite the ongoing United States-China trade dispute.
Bank Negara Malaysia is due to release the fourth-quarter and full-year gross domestic product (GDP) data today.
“We will take note of the recent industrial production index figures, and some banks such as the Standard Chartered have shown optimism about the GDP figure,” said Ong after a luncheon talk organised by the Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Bhd, here, yesterday.
Ong also commented on the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research’s (MIER) recent survey, which showed a dip in December 2018 business sentiment index.
“I think the business confidence index is based on surveys, and the surveys may not be totally reflective of the numbers but of course, we need to be concerned about the dip in business sentiment.
“As long as we can address those concerns with good policies and good figures, I think we can convince the business community,” he said.
According to MIER, the consumer sentiment index fell 10.7 points to 96.8 in October to December last year, from 107.5 in the preceding quarter.
The business condition index, which tracks domestic manufacturing activity, dropped to 95.3 points, 13.5 points lower than in the previous quarter.
Ong was positive on the establishment of the Economic Action Council, saying it would allow his ministry to contribute views on the country’s economic policies.