Malaysia: Exports slow in March, trade surplus widens
May 7, 2014
Exports recorded a 3.1% annual expansion in March (February: +5.1% year-on-year). The increase came in below market expectations. According to the Department of Statistics, the print reflects higher shipments of electronics and electric products, liquefied natural gas and chemical products. Meanwhile, imports swung from a 2.5% expansion in February to a 4.3% contraction in March, which marked the lowest result since September 2013.
The trade surplus widened to USD 3.0 billion in March (March 2013: USD 1.6 billion). The 12-month moving sum of the trade balance increased from a USD 23.6 billion surplus in February to a USD 25.0 billion surplus in March.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect exports to rise 4.0% in USD terms in 2014. Imports are expected to grow 0.7% in 2014, pushing the trade surplus to USD 29.9 billion. For 2015, the panel expects exports to grow 6.2%. With imports expected to rise 6.1% in 2015, panelists see the trade surplus widening to USD 32.2 billion.
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist