This is due its improved labour market and continuous external demand
THE Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM) said Malaysia can withstand global economic challenges and expects the country’s economic indicators to moderate this year despite the risk of a global economic slowdown.
Chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin in a statement today said going forward, Malaysia’s economic indicators are expected to moderate despite the risk of a global economic slowdown, signalled by the Leading Index (LI), which decreased by 0.4% to 110.5 points in November 2022 compared to 110.9 points in November 2021.
Conversely, he said, LI’s monthly performance recorded an increase of 0.8% in November 2022, compared to -0.3% in the previous month.
“Looking at the smoothed long-term trend in November 2022, LI remains below 100 points,” he added.
Looking at Malaysia’s socio-economic scenario, Mohd Uzir said the economy has the potential to address global challenges, evidenced by its improved labour market and continuous external demand.
This, he added, is also backed up by upward trends for several key indicators, which have consistently shown positive annual growth.
He said in the recent economic indicators released by DoSM, showed Malaysia’s trade sustained its robust performance by posting RM238.2 billion in November 2022, with a growth of 15.6% year-on-year (YoY).
Meanwhile, exports were valued at RM130.2 billion, surpassing imports valued at RM107.9 billion, yielding a trade surplus of RM22.3 billion. In December 2022, the trade surplus increased to RM27.8 billion, with exports of RM131.9 billion and imports of RM104.1 billion.
“Summarising the year 2022, Malaysia’s trade exceeded the RM2 trillion mark for the second year in a row and surged 27.8% YoY to RM2.8 trillion,” Mohd Uzir said.
Adding to this, he mentioned that Malaysia’s Industrial Production Index in November 2022 recorded a 4.8% increase compared to the corresponding period in 2021.
The increase was propelled by growth in the Manufacturing Index (4.8%), Mining Index (6.1%) and Electricity Index (1.2%).
Similarly, the Manufacturing sector’s sales soared by 11.8% to reach RM159.2 billion in November 2022 compared to RM142.4 billion in November 2021.
Mohd Uzir said the positive growth was driven by the increase in the subsectors of electrical and electronics products, 19% YoY (October 2022: 16.6%), and petroleum, chemical, rubber and plastic products, 15% (October 2022: 23.8%).
He also said that the wholesale and retail trade sales value recorded a double-digit growth of 13.9% YoY, reaching RM133.9 billion in November 2022. The increase was predominantly contributed by the retail trade subsector, which rose 22.8% to RM58.7 billion.
This was followed by the wholesale trade and motor vehicles subsectors, which also grew 5.6% (RM3.1 billion) to RM59.5 billion and 17.2% (+RM2.3 billion) to RM15.7 billion respectively,” he added.
Commenting on the current labour force situation, he said the number of employed persons increased by 498.3 thousand persons, or 3.2% YoY, to 16.11 million persons, while the unemployment rate remained at 3.6% for three consecutive months.
He said the government’s adoption of numerous initiatives aimed at increasing employment opportunities and strengthening the labour market has contributed to the consistent performance of the labour market throughout November 2022.
From a price perspective, Mohd Uzir said the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the upward trend in global commodity prices had a significant impact on Malaysia, resulting in a 4% increase in inflation in November 2022 compared to November 2021. Meanwhile, the inflation rate in December 2022 eased to 3.8% compared to December 2021.
“For the full year of 2022, inflation rose to 3.3% compared to a rate of 2.5% in 2021. Concurrently, the Producer Price Index (PPI) for local production eased further to record 3.2% YoY in November 2022 and inched up to 3.5% in December 2022, with the overall PPI increasing 7.8% for the year 2022,” Mohd Uzir concluded. — TMR