Malaysia: Contraction in exports moderates in October
December 4, 2015
Exports fell 7.2% in annual terms in October following the 18.5% contraction tallied in September. Although October’s contraction was less severe than analyst had expected, this marks 13 consecutive months falling exports as global demand for key Malaysian exports dwindles. October’s contraction was the mildest since December 2014, suggesting that Malaysia’s downward spiral in exports could be bottoming out. Meanwhile, imports declined 20.8% in October, which was a more severe drop than the 17.9% fall recorded in the previous month. The Department of Statistics noted that the ongoing decline in exports was moderated in October by improvements in exports of manufactured goods and machinery.
The trade balance grew from a USD 2.2 billion surplus in September to a USD 3.0 billion surplus in October. The 12-month moving sum of the trade balance grew from USD 23.0 billion in September to USD 25.6 billion. The 12-month figure reversed its downward trajectory over the past several months as the weak MYR has given Malaysia exporters a boost.
Author: Robert Hill, Economist