Malaysia on track to post Q1 GDP growth of 5.6%

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the first quarter of 2023 (1Q23) is expected to record 5.6% versus 5% in last year’s corresponding quarter, says Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd (BIMB).

Such compelling growth in 1Q23 is bolstered by strong domestic demand coupled with moderating inflation amid facing external headwinds, the bank said in a research note yesterday.

BIMB chief economist Firdaos Rosli said private consumption would remain the mainstay of the demand growth in the quarter, supported by a steady improvement in the labour market where a lower unemployment rate of 3.5% was registered in February.

“Higher tourism receipts and the long end of the 2022 academic year holidays helped. As such, we believe that private consumption growth in the said quarter will likely come in the high single digits,” he said.

The bank noted that following 4.5 million tourist arrivals recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022, tourism arrivals and receipts could grow higher in 1Q23, coupled with China’s economic reopening which is lending a hand in the growth of the services sector. — Bernama