THE STAR – Malaysia is optimistic that the economic recovery will continue to be resilient in the third quarter (Q3) of 2022, notwithstanding external risks and downward pressure, after favourable performance was seen in Q1, according to the Statistics Department.
Chief statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin said many countries recorded a better performance in Q1, indicating that economic improvement is underway in spite of multiple ongoing global crises causing disruptions in the supply chain, inflationary pressure and pushing for tightening of monetary policies.
For instance, he said, the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States recorded expansion of gross domestic product (GDP) and a similar trend was observed in Asian countries like China, South Korea, the Philippines and Thailand.
“As for Malaysia, the GDP grew better-than-expected by five per cent in Q1 after registering a 3.6-per-cent growth in the previous quarter,” he said in a statement as reported by Bernama.
Citing the Malaysian Economic Statistics Review Volume 5/2022 released by the department yesterday, Mohd Uzir said several key countries’ economic indicators registered a positive trajectory in Q1.
“With regard to the external sector, the current account balance remained surplus at MYR3 billion, mainly supported by the net exports of goods account.
“Investment performance also improved, with foreign direct investment recording a higher net inflow of MYR24.4 billion, while direct investment abroad posted a lower net outflow of MYR3.6 billion,” he said.
He added that trade continued with its robust performance whereby total trade posted a double-digit growth of 23.6 per cent amounting to MYR624.9 billion in Q1.
In terms of performance in March 2022, Mohd Uzir said the industrial production index posted a growth of 5.1 per cent against March 2021, backed by the manufacturing index which rose 6.9 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) driven by exports and domestic-oriented output.
He said the consumer price index for March 2022 rose by 2.2 per cent y-o-y, staying above Malaysia’s average inflation rate of 1.9 per cent from 2011 to March 2022.
“The producer price index for local production also posted a double-digit growth of 11.6 per cent compared to 9.7 per cent in February 2022,” he said.
He added that the leading index grew 0.4 per cent month-on-month to 111.3 points, indicating improved and favourable performance in Malaysia’s economy.
Mohd Uzir said the department’s recent Business Tendency Statistics also highlighted that business sentiment remained positive for Q2, while in the forthcoming six months, the business sentiment outlook is also optimistic.