Malaysia: Exports rebound faster than expected in January
March 11, 2013
In January, exports rebounded to a 7.7% expansion in USD terms over the same month last year, which contrasted the 1.7% decrease observed in December and exceeded market expectations. According to the Department of Statistics, the rebound was mainly due to strong shipments of manufactured goods. As a result, in the 12 months up to January, exports expanded 0.7% over the same period last year (December: -0.1% year-on-year).
Meanwhile, imports surged 20.7% in January, contrasting the 2.5% drop recorded in December. Accordingly, imports grew 6.7% in annual terms in the last 12 months (December: +6.1% yoy).
Finally, the trade surplus reached USD 1.1 billion in January. As a result, the 12-month moving sum of the trade balance reached USD 29.1 billion in January, which was below the USD 30.8 billion surplus recorded in December.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists expect exports to grow 5.8% in USD terms in 2013, while the trade surplus will reach USD 32.0 billion. For 2014, the panel expects exports to grow 6.9%, while the trade surplus will widen to USD 34.6 billion.