Malaysia: Exports growth overshadowed by surging imports in August
October 7, 2014
Exports recorded a 2.6% annual expansion in August (July: +0.9% year-on-year). The increase came in above market expectations. According to the Department of Statistics, growth was mainly driven by an increase in exports of manufactured goods, particularly of electronics and electric products, as well as chemicals. Higher exports of liquefied natural gas and crude petroleum also contributed to the positive result. In contrast, exports of agricultural products such as palm oil decreased. Meanwhile, imports surged to a 15.1% increase in August, which contrasted the 0.4% decline registered in July and marked a 19-month high.
The trade surplus plunged from USD 1.1 billion in July to USD 100 million in August (August 2013: USD 2.2 billion), which marked the lowest figure on record. The 12-month moving sum of the trade balance decreased from a USD 28.2 billion surplus in July to USD 26.2 billion.
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist