Malaysia: GDP slows in January to 5.3%

PETALING JAYA: The country’s economy may have grown by 5.3% year-on-year (y-o-y) in January 2023 as economic activities eased in the month.

Maybank Investment Bank (Maybank IB) Research said the gross domestic product (GDP) growth could have slowed down in January, as compared to a growth of 8.3% in December 2022.

The actual growth rate for January will be announced by the Statistics Department in May 2023, alongside the GDP figures for the first quarter. In a note yesterday, Maybank IB said the month of January saw a slower growth of 1.8% y-o-y for the Industrial Production Index (IPI).

The growth in the Distributive Trade Index and crude palm oil output also lost steam as they grew by 8.6% and 10.1% in January 2023, respectively.

“Inputting these indicators into our monthly GDP tracker, we estimated monthly GDP grew 5.3% y-o-y in January 2023.

“Our full-year real GDP growth forecast is 4%,” the research house said. In 2022, the Malaysian economy expanded by 8.7% y-o-y, surpassing expectations.

Elaborating further, Maybank IB said the country’s IPI growth moderated in January due to subdued manufacturing and decline in electricity. This outweighed the pickup in mining output .

“Moderation in manufacturing growth was seen across export-oriented industries such as machinery and equipment, computer, electronics and optical products.”

Source: https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2023/03/15/gdp-slowsin-january–to-53