Malaysia: Exports continue to deteriorate in January
March 9, 2015
Exports declined 8.2% in annual terms in January, which was down from the 5.0% contraction tallied in December. The result undershot market expectations and marked the lowest reading in almost two years. According to the Department of Statistics, the deterioration in exports was mainly driven by a decline in shipments of refined petroleum products, liquefied natural gas, rubber, and palm oil. Conversely, exports of electronic products and crude petroleum increased compared to the same month of last year. Meanwhile, imports tumbled from a 3.6% drop in December to a 12.5% contraction in January, which marked the lowest reading in over five years.
The trade balance fell from a USD 2.6 billion surplus in December to a USD 2.5 billion surplus in January (January 2014: USD 1.9 billion). The 12-month moving sum of the trade balance ticked up from a USD 25.3 billion surplus in December to a USD 25.9 billion surplus in January.
Author: Cecilia Simkievich, Economist