Malaysia: Exports contraction moderates in December
February 5, 2016
Exports in USD terms fell 17.6% in annual terms in December, following the 18.6% contraction tallied in November. The contraction was less severe than analysts had expected. The result marks 16 consecutive months of contraction, as global demand for key Malaysian exports dwindles, and the MYR loses ground against the USD. Meanwhile, imports declined 16.2% in December, which was a slightly less severe contraction than the 16.5% fall recorded in the previous month.
The trade balance narrowed from a USD 2.3 billion surplus in November to a USD 1.8 billion surplus in December. The 12-month moving sum of the trade balance fell from USD 24.6 billion in November to USD 23.9 billion in December. The 12-month figure has been falling steadily since the middle of last year and indicates that declining oil and gas exports have not been completely offset by manufacturing exports.
Author: Robert Hill, Economist