Recently published research from Business Monitor International, "Malaysia Business Forecast Report Q2 2013", is now available at Fast Market Research
Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/19/2013 -- Core Views
Malaysia's real GDP growth slowed from an upwardly revised 5.6% year-on-year (y-o-y) in Q212 to 5.2% in Q312, in line with our core view that cooling external demand will continue to weigh on headline growth. We continue to expect real GDP growth to come in at a relatively subdued 4.5% in 2013, compared to consensus of 4.9%.
Despite growing concerns that increased public spending by the government in the lead-up to general elections could fuel inflationary pressures in 2013, we argue that, at least in the near term, leading indicators continue to reflect a stable outlook for consumer prices. A moderation in money supply growth, producer price disinflation and stable commodity prices suggest a stable outlook for consumer prices, at least in the near term. We expect Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to keep its policy rate on hold at 3.00% throughout 2013.
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Malaysia's deteriorating fiscal position is becoming a major risk to the country's long-term economic outlook, and we continue to see evidence that the government is ignoring the problem, at least for now. A mixed election outcome could potentially delay tax reforms to address the country's deteriorating fiscal position. Should this scenario come to pass, we would consider downgrading Malaysia's fiscal outlook over the medium term.
Major Forecast Changes
We have revised down our forecast for headline consumer price inflation and now expect it to average a benign 2.0% in 2013, compared with previous forecast of 2.5%.
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