Exports slowed significantly in January to a 2.8% expansion annual expansion (December: +8.0% year-on-year). Despite the lesser expansion, the reading did overshoot market expectations. According to the Department of Statistics, the print reflects higher shipments of electronics and electric products, liquefied natural gas and petroleum products. Imports posted a greater deterioration, contracting 1.7% in January, which contrasted the 8.2% increase recorded in December. A trade surplus of USD 1.9 billion was recorded in January (January 2012: USD 1.1 billion) and the 12-month moving sum of the trade balance increased slightly from a USD 22.3 billion surplus in December to a USD 23.1 billion surplus. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect exports to rise 7.2% in USD terms in 2014. Imports are expected to grow 7.1% in 2014, pushing the trade surplus to USD 31.0 billion. For 2015, the panel expects exports to grow 5.8%. With imports expected to rise 5.1% in 2015, panelists see the trade surplus widening to USD 34.3 billion.
Malaysia Trade Balance
Exports decelerate in January
March 7, 2014
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist
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