Wednesday, July 17

Economy to grow between 4.7-4.8 pct in 4Q

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Professor Emeritus Dr Zakariah Abdul Rashid

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to expand between 4.7 per cent and 4.8 per cent in the fourth quarter of this year, with growth continued to be driven by domestic private consumption, said Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER).

Executive director Professor Emeritus Dr Zakariah Abdul Rashid said retail sales and promotional activities, that usually took place in the last month of the year, would boost private consumption.

“In the first nine months of this year, the average GDP growth is already 4.76 per cent and if the fourth quarter performed fantastically good, we are optimistic the whole year’s growth can go up to 4.9 per cent.

“Our fundamentals, (including) consumption, investment and exports are still intact, so it is not a problem (for us) to reach that level (4.9 per cent),” he told reporters on the sidelines of the National Economic Outlook Conference 2019-2020 yesterday.

On downside risks, Zakariah said private investment performance, which weakened during the third quarter amid the unpromising external front, could not be relied upon in the last quarter of the year as the weak momentum may continue.

As for the external sector, he said weak demand for manufacturing and, electrical and electronics, as well as, low price and demand for oil and gas might influence fourth quarter growth.

The decline in oil prices, which was currently hovering around US$65 per barrel, would not be a good factor for growth momentum, he said.

Zakariah also said the downward momentum was likely to continue into 2019 and this would place pressure on the country in attaining its target revenue of RM261.8 billion next year.

The government is expecting regular dividend payouts from Petronas amounting to RM24 billion. – Bernama