Malaysia: Economic growth beats expectations in Q4
February 20, 2013
In the fourth quarter, GDP expanded 6.4% over the same period the previous year. The figure was above the revised 5.3% rise tallied in the previous period (previously reported: +5.2% year-on-year) and marked the fastest expansion since Q2 2010. Moreover, the print overshot market expectations that had the economy growing 5.5%.
The expansion came on the back of strong domestic demand as well as an improvement in the external sector. Private consumption expanded 6.1% (Q3 2012: +8.5% yoy), while public spending added only 1.1% over the same quarter the year before (Q3: +2.3% yoy). Gross fixed capital formation remained resilient but slowed to a 15.0% rise (Q3: +22.7% yoy).
On the external front, exports of goods and services improved from a 3.0% contraction in the third quarter to a 1.5% drop in the fourth. Meanwhile, imports contracted 0.9% (Q3: +4.4% yoy). As a result, the external sector's net contribution to overall growth improved from minus 6.8 percentage points in the third quarter to minus 0.7 percentage points in the fourth.
For the full year 2012, GDP expanded 5.6%, which marks an improvement over the 5.1% expansion recorded in 2011. The government expects economic growth to range between 4.5% and 5.5% this year.