Saturday, 24 October 2015

State of Malaysian economy: to grow 4~5% in 2016, lead by domestic demand



PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian economy is expected to remain steady in 2016, with real GDP growth between 4% and 5% led by domestic demand, according to the Economic Report 2015/2016 drawn up by the Ministry of Finance (MoF).

Private sector expenditure will remain the main driver of growth with private consumption and investment expected to grow by 6.4% and 6.7%, respectively.

The government also remains committed to fiscal consolidation, with the fiscal deficit expected to further decline to 3.1% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016 (2015:3.2%) while the Federal Government debt level will remain manageable with the prudent limit of 55% of GDP.

Meanwhile government expenditure is forecast to expand, albeit at a moderate pace, in line with efforts to strengthen the fiscal position.

On the supply side growth is expected to be broad-based, with all the sectors registering positive growth, the MoF said.

Malaysia's external position is forecast to remain positive supported by better prospects for global growth and trade.

Against this backdrop, the nominal gross national income (GNI) per capita is expected to increase by 5.6% from RM36,397 in 2015 to RM38,438 in 2016.

With total investment surpassing savings, the savings-investment gap is expected to narrow between 0.5% and 1.5% of GNI.

The economy will continue to operate under conditions of full employment with the unemployment rate remaining below 4%.

Despite the weak ringgit, inflation is expected to remain benign attributed to low oil prices and the waning impact of GST.

For 2016, inflation is expected to range between 2% - 3%.

Slower GDP growth in 2016

THE Malaysian economy is expected to grow between 4% and 5% in 2016 as domestic demand is expected to offset the drag on the economy from a slowdown in growth in emerging markets, particularly China.

Lower commodity prices, depreciating currencies in emerging markets and volatility in financial markets will be hurdles to economic growth but that will be counterbalanced with activity by the private and public sectors..

“Strong economic fundamentals such as benign inflation and stable employment supported by accommodative monetary policy are expected to support growth,” says the report.

Private investment is expected to rise by 6.7% with higher investment by the manufacturing and services sectors.

Private consumption is expected to rise by 6.4%, aided by stable employment and favourable wage growth. In the public sector, public expenditure is expected to grow by 2.7%.

Public investment is forecast to grow by 2.3%. Public consumption is expected to increase by 3%.

The services sector is projected to grow by 5.4% and see its share of GDP increase to 54% with all subsectors posting growth.

The information and communication subsector is projected to grow by 9.6% and real estate and business services subsector by 7.1% aided by construction activity while the transport and storage subsector is projected to grow by 5% helped by the expansion in port and rail services, along with improved bus services.

Manufacturing is projected to grow by 4.3% aided by growth in advanced economies.

The agriculture sector is forecast to expand by 1.3% with improvement in the plantation sector and stronger growth in the food commodity subsector.

Production of crude palm oil is expected to grow by 1% to 20.1 million tonnes and rubber by 0.7% to 680,000 tonnes.

Malaysia is expected to register a smaller current account surplus with gross exports anticipated to increase by 1.4% led by manufactured exports.

Gross imports are expected to turn around and grow at a faster pace of 3% supported by higher public investment and capital spending in the manufacturing and services sectors.

Import duty exemption on 90 tariff lines in the manufacturing sector is expected to provide relief to about 900 companies.

Stable wage growth and employment prospects are expected to support demand for consumption goods and as import growth rise faster than exports, the trade surplus is projected to be lower at RM73.2bil of 5.9% of GDP compared with RM85.3bil in 2015.

For 2016, the transport and other services accounts are expected to remain in deficit following improved prospects for trade-related and investment activity. The surplus of the travel account is projected to grow to RM33.9bil from RM29.8bil driven by higher tourist arrivals.

Malaysia is expected to register a smaller current account surplus with gross exports anticipated to increase by 1.4% led by manufactured exports. Gross imports are expected to turn around and grow at a faster pace of 3% supported by higher public investment and capital spending in the manufacturing and services sectors.

Stable wage growth and employment prospects are expected to support demand for consumption goods and as import growth rise faster than exports, the trade surplus is projected to be lower at RM73.2bil of 5.9% of GDP compared with RM85.3bil in 2015.

The services account is expected to improve to RM11.4bil from a deficit of RM14.7bil in 2015.

With higher imports projected, the goods and services account is envisaged to post a lower surplus of RM63.7bil.

The primary account is expected to register net outflows of RM33.7bil in 2016 from RM33.2bil due to higher repatriation of profits, dividends and interests accuring to multinational corporations in Malaysia.

The secondary income account will still be in deficit amounting to RM18.7bil mainly due to sustained demand for foreign labour.

As inflows will be larger than outflows, due to the surplus in the goods and services account, the current account is forecast to be in a surplus of between 0.5% and 1.5% of gross national income.

State of the Malaysian economy



THE economy is expected to grow at a lower pace next year compared with 2015 as the government projects slower growth in the manufacturing, services and construction sectors.

The report said GDP was expected to expand between 4% and 5% in 2016 compared with the 4.4% to 5.5% growth estimated for the current year.

Domestic demand was expected to offset the drag on the economy from a slowdown in growth in emerging markets, particularly China.

Lower commodity prices, depreciating currencies in emerging markets and volatility in financial markets will be hurdles to economic growth.

However, these would be counterbalanced with activity by the private and public sectors, with private expenditure the main anchor while public expenditure will increase moderately.

To boost the economy, the Government has raised allocation for development spending by 6.1% to RM49.2bil, while operating expenditure will remain at RM215.2bil.

The increase in spending will be matched by higher revenue in 2016 forecast at RM225.6bil. The fiscal deficit in 2016 is projected at 3.1% of GDP.

Trade surplus is projected to be higher in 2015 at RM85.3bil, or 7.3% of GDP.

Debt level



The level of Government’s debt is projected to increase RM627.5bil, or 54% of GDP in 2015 from current RM582.8bil last year, or 52.7% of GDP. Household debts level remained high at 88.1% of GDP at end of August, up from 86.8% of GDP at the end of 2014.

Fiscal consolidation

The government will continue its fiscal consolidation in 2016 as it seeks to achieve a balanced budget by 2020 but it acknowledges there will be challenges from external sources.

It emphasises that while it ensures strong public finances, fiscal policy will continue to support economic growth and improve the people’s well being.

“With all the measures in place, the fiscal deficit is projected at RM38.8bil or 3.1% of GDP in 2016 (2015: 3.2%),” it said.

The fiscal deficit has come down from 6.7% in 2009 to 3.4% of GDP in 2014.

Revenue collection



The government expects revenue to increase by 1.4% to RM225.70bil due to higher tax revenue.

For instance, collection from oil-related revenue is expected to increase by 1.7% to RM265.2bil (2015: RM260.7bil).

Due to the implementation of the managed float fuel pricing system, subsidies, incentives and assistance will remain low at RM26.1bil (12.1%), reflecting a more targeted subsidy mechanism to reduce market distortions and leakages.

GST



The government projects to collect RM39bil from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in 2016 – which is about 3.1% of the GDP as it seeks to achieve a balanced budget by 2020.

Since the GST was implemented in April, collection was RM27bil, higher than the earlier projection of RM21.7bil.

For 2016, GST’s collection will reflect a full 12-month of the tax implementation that had replaced the Sales and Services Tax (SST).

The higher collection will offset the contraction in oil-related revenue that has been the main revenue source for the Government.

Inflation, employment



Inflation rate is expected to increase from 1.9% in 2015 to between 2% and 3% in 2016.

However, the government expects the unemployment rate to decline from 3.1% in 2015 to 2.9% in 2016.

Strong economic fundamentals such as benign inflation and stable employment supported by accommodative monetary policy are expected to support growth.

Medium-term fiscal framework



The government also announced under the medium-term fiscal framework (MTFF) for 2016 to 2018, its revenue was estimated to be RM729.50bil.

The projection for the three years was based on the assumption that US light crude oil would be between US$48 and US$60 per barrel and oil production to be 600,000 barrels per day.

On Friday, US crude oil was trading below US$46, which is sharply lower than the near US$100 in July 2014.

The three-year framework expects non-oil revenue to be RM631.60bil and non-oil revenue RM97.9bil.

The government’s operating expenditure is expected to be RM685.7bil during the period and gross development expenditure RM153bil.

http://www.thestar.com.my/Business/Business-News/2015/10/23/The-very-rich-to-pay-more-income-tax/?style=biz

http://www.thestar.com.my/Business/Business-News/2015/10/23/Business-highlights-of-Budget-2016-proposals/?style=biz

http://www.thestar.com.my/Business/Business-News/2015/10/23/Slight-increase-in-Federal-Government-revenue/?style=biz

http://www.thestar.com.my/Business/Business-News/2015/10/23/Govt-sees-oil-trading-US$48-to-US$60-in-2016-to-2018/?style=biz

http://www.thestar.com.my/Business/Business-News/2015/10/23/Domestic-demand-to-drive-GDP-growth/?style=biz

http://www.thestar.com.my/Business/Business-News/2015/10/23/Business-highlights-of-Budget-2016-proposals/?style=biz

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