Malaysia Looking to Hit 2023 GDP Growth Target

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The 2023 numbers have not been finalised yet, but things are looking good for Malaysia and its post-pandemic economic momentum.

Malaysia is poised to achieve its 2023 gross domestic product (GDP) growth target of 4 to 5 percent (likely closer to 4), according to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM). Chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin highlighted the positive economic momentum observed thus far, particularly noting the elevated consumer spending sentiment typically seen in the fourth quarter (4Q) of the year.

Mohd Uzir emphasised that during the 4Q period, consumers tend to increase their spending, particularly for back-to-school, new year, and festive purchases, resulting in heightened demand for goods, a significant GDP component. He mentioned that based on available data, the forecast for 4Q GDP growth compared to the third quarter (3Q) should be evaluated.

Mohd Uzir pointed out growth in sectors such as mining, electricity, and manufacturing, as indicated by the Industrial Production Index (IPI) for October, alongside Malaysia’s sustained trade surplus, which reached RM12.87 billion in October, marking the 42nd consecutive month of surplus. Additionally, he noted a decline in unemployment, with the country’s rate standing at 3.4 percent in October.

Mohd Uzir expressed optimism about the Malaysian economy’s growth trajectory for 2023, particularly given the economic activities observed in November and December. According to Bank Negara Malaysia, the economy expanded by 3.3 percent in the third quarter and 3.9 percent in the first three quarters of 2023.

Economists expect the GDP growth rate to slow in 2024, but to still be positive.

Regarding the Central Database Hub (PADU), Mohd Uzir reported that as of January 3, the system recorded 396,181 registered users, with Malaysians given until March 31 to update their information. He expressed confidence in achieving the target of registering 29 million citizens, highlighting government engagement sessions at the state level to ensure inclusivity. Positive feedback on PADU usage has been received, particularly in rural areas, supported by efforts from the Information Department (JaPen).

Reporting from Bernama and InvestKL contributed to this article.

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