KUALA LUMPUR, March 5 — The healthy January 2019 domestic demand expansion proves that the 0.7 per cent, year-on-year, (y-o-y) decline in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in the same month was not caused by weakened demand, says Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.
As clarified earlier, he said the January CPI decline was actively induced by the government’s pro-consumer policy of stabilising petrol prices.
“That (stabilising petrol prices) immediately passes savings from falling prices directly to consumers while protecting them from high prices through the imposition of a petrol price ceiling and replacing the Goods and Services Tax with the Sales and Services Tax,” he said in a statement today.
Meanwhile, he said Malaysia’s trade surplus rose 19.2 per cent, y-o-y, in January to RM11.5 billion, beating market estimation of RM9.0 billion despite the unresolved trade war between China and the United States.
“The strong trade surplus is a good start for the year and lends credence to the expectation that Malaysia’s current account will remain in surplus and keep the domestic economy resilient amid global uncertainty,” he said.
Additionally, he said the import growth of one per cent, y-o-y, pointed to the domestic economy expanding, refuting deflationary concerns raised by some analysts. — Bernama