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Malaysia posts stronger-than-expected GDP in fourth quarter

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Malaysia’s economy grew 7% in the fourth quarter compared to the same time last year, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Governor Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus said on Friday. This was because domestic demand kept growing and demand for electrical and electronic goods stayed strong.

Economists polled by Reuters thought that the central bank would say that the gross domestic product in October-December 2022 was 6.6% higher than in the same period of 2021, which would be a slowdown from the 14.2% annual growth seen in the third quarter.

The gross domestic product (GDP) for all of 2022 was 8.7% higher than it was for all of 2021. This was the fastest full-year growth in 22 years, and it beat the government’s prediction of 6.5% to 7%.

The central bank has said that it expects full-year GDP growth to slow to between 4% and 5% in 2023, because the world economy is slowing down.

On Friday, it pointed out risks like further escalation of geopolitical tensions, the return of major supply chain disruptions, and higher interest rates around the world.

It also said that, despite downside risks, did not rule out the possibility that growth in 2023 would be higher than expected.

“Malaysia will not go into a recession”

said Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Governor, Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus

BNM thinks that reopening China’s international borders will bring back tourists and lessen the effect of a slowdown in export growth.

“We’re still optimistic about growth in Q1,” she said. “It might even have stronger growth momentum than Q4.”

She said that the bank expected that both headline and core inflation would slow down in 2023 but still stay high. In 2022, both headline and core inflation averaged 3.3% and 3.0%, respectively.

Last month, the Bank of New Mexico (BNM) surprised everyone by keeping its benchmark interest rate the same. This showed that there were risks to economic growth after four straight rate hikes in 2017.

Nor Shamsiah said that keeping the overnight policy rate (OPR) at the same level gave the bank a chance to see how changing the OPR affected inflation and the economy.

She said, “This would make inflation and economic output clearer.”

Info Source-CNBC

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