Services accounts for 56% of economy, growing 6.8% in 2018


Malaysia posted an economic expansion of 4.7% last year, lower than the 5.9% recorded in 2017. The country’s economy faced headwinds last year as the world grappled with geopolitical and trade skirmishes, worries of growth prospect and internal pressure of a changed government.

Following are the performance of the main sectors in 2018.


The services industry accounts to 56% of the country economy. It expanded by 6.8% last year against 6.2% in 2017, supported by the wholesale and retail trade as well as the information and communication sub-sector. The sector grew 6.9% in the fourth-quarter of 2018 (4Q18), compared to 6.2% year-on-year (YoY).

Mining and Quarrying

The mining and quarrying sector contributed 7.9% to the country’s economy. The sector’s growth rebounded by 1.5% in 2018 compared to 1% in the previous year, buoyed by the recovery in the production of crude and condensate products, and improvements in the production of natural gas. The sector grew 0.5% in the 4Q18 against a negative 0.5% in the 4Q17.


The manufacturing sector is the second-largest contributor to the economy, accounting for 22.8%. However, its growth narrowed to 5% last year compared to 6% in 2017, weighed by the manufacturing and repair of transport equipment. The sector grew 4.7% in the 4Q18, lower than 5.4% YoY. Export worries and global demand due to the trade war between the US and China continues to cast dark clouds over the country’s manufacturing demand.


Agriculture activities account for 7.9% of the economy. It continued to slumber in negative territory, posting a negative 0.4% last year compared to 7.2% in 2017. The sector also registered a negative 0.4% in the 4Q18 compared to a strong 10.7% YoY. Much of the drag was due to the lower performance of palm oil.


The construction sector contributes 4.2% to economy. Its growth slowed to 4.2% last year compared to 6.7% in 2017. The sector’s quarter performance also mirrored the slowdown with 2.6% in the 4Q18 against 5.8% in the 4Q17. The growth was weighed down by its civil engineering sub-sector, which had recorded double-digit growth and was geared by the oil and gas and utilities related projects.