The global economy grew at a more moderate pace in 2011 after the strong rebound in 2010. The growth momentum was weighed down by continued structural weaknesses and fiscal issues in the advanced economies, geopolitical developments in the Middle East and North Africa region and the disruptive impact of natural disasters on global manufacturing production. These developments reverberated onto international financial markets and contributed to heightened market volatility throughout the year.
Despite the less favourable external environment, emerging economies continued to record firm domestic-driven economic growth. At the same time, emerging economies faced increasing challenges from volatile capital flows and rising inflationary pressures. Amidst this environment, the Malaysian economy continued to grow steadily underpinned by the expansion in domestic activity and firm regional demand.
The Malaysian Economy in 2011The Malaysian economy recorded a steady pace of growth of 5.1% in 2011 (2010: 7.2%), despite the challenging international economic environment. Growth was lower in the first half of the year, particularly in the second quarter, as the economy was affected by the overall weakness in the advanced economies and the disruptions in the global manufacturing supply chain arising from the natural disaster in Japan. Although the global economic environment became increasingly more challenging and uncertain in the second half-year, Malaysia’s economic growth improved due to stronger domestic demand.
Outlook for the Malaysian Economy in 2012
- Malaysia’s economy is projected to experience a steady pace of growth of 4 – 5% in 2012
- Domestic demand to remain resilient
- 2012 Budget expected to provide support to private consumption
- Upward revision of public sector wages and one-off financial assistance to low and middle-income groups
- Ongoing implementation of projects under ETP
- Higher capital expenditure by both the Federal Government and the non-financial public enterprises
- Implementation of the Special Stimulus Package through Private Financing Initiative
Labour market conditions are expected to soften in 2012 amid the slower economic activity. The unemployment rate is projected to increase to 3.2% of the labour force in 2012. Headline inflation is expected to moderate in 2012, averaging between 2.5 – 3.0%. The lower inflation projection reflects the moderation in global commodity prices and a more modest growth in domestic demand.
Source: BNM report