Malaysian economy grows 3.6% in 4th quarter of 2021

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The Malaysian economy grew 3.6 per cent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2021, as economic activities resumed with the easing of containment measures, official data showed on Friday.

The rebound in economic activity was aided by recovery in the labor market as well as continued policy support, the Malaysian central bank said in a statement.

In addition, strong external demand amid the continued upcycle in global technology provided a further lift to growth, Xinhua news agency reported.

On the supply side, all economic sectors recorded improvements in growth, led by the services and manufacturing sectors.

On the expenditure side, growth was driven mainly by the improvement in household spending and trade activity.

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted basis, the Malaysian economy rose 6.6 per cent.

With the turnaround in growth in the fourth quarter, the economy grew by 3.1 per cent for 2021 as a whole.

For 2022, the central bank expects the domestic economy to remain on its recovery path, supported by the continued expansion in global demand and higher private sector expenditure given improving labor market conditions and ongoing policy support.

The continuation of major investment projects in both private and public sectors will also support growth, it said.

“Malaysia is well-positioned to continue benefitting from the expansion in global economic and trade activities. The acceleration of the Covid-19 booster vaccination program and vaccination of children above five years old, coupled with sufficient capacity in the healthcare system, would improve domestic economic activities, thus strengthening the recovery momentum,” said the country’s central bank Governor Nor Shamsiah.

However, she said the balance of risks remains tilted to the downside, mainly from development surrounding Covid-19, both globally and domestically.

In a note on Friday, OCBC Bank Economist Wellian Wiranto said Malaysia’s latest gross domestic product (GDP) uptick signals its domestic consumption strength.

“Given the momentum, we have revised up our 2022 GDP forecast from 5 per cent before to 5.4 per cent year-on-year,” he added.

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